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dFour Ancient 33oofe0 



Clje Csmric ^oems attritiutet to tlje iSartis of 
Efje Sixtij Centurg 









The Poems contained in the Four Ancient Books of 

Wales ...... 1 


The Literature of Wales subsequent to the Twelfth 

Century . . . . . .19 


« ■ 

Sources of the Early History of Wales . . . 33 


State of the Country in the Sixth Century, and its 

History prior to A.D. 560 . . . .42 


State of Britain in A.D. 560 when Gildas wrote, and 

Kings of the Line of i>r/V . . . .61 

Manau GODODIN and the Picts . .77 




The Races of Britain, and the Place of the Picts among 

them ...... 97 


The Celtic Dialects and the Probable Character of the 

Pictish Language . . . . .120 


The Celtic Topography of Scotland, and the Dialectic 

Differences indicated by it . . . . 141 

Cumbria and the Men of the North . . .165 


Recent Criticism of the Mythological Poems examined . 184 

Recent Criticism of the Historical Poems examined . 208 

True Place of the Poems in Welsh Literature . . 225 


Result of the Examination of the Poems, and their 

Classification . . . . .242 








I. Book of Taliessin Liv. The Reconciliation of 

Lludd the Less . . . .253 

II. Book of Taliessin XLii. Death-song of Corroi, 

son of Dayry ..... 254 

III. Book of Taliessin XL. Death-song of Erof . 255 

IV. Book of Taliessin XLi. . . . .256 
V. Book of Taliessin XLVI. . . . .257 


VI. Book of Taliessin xv. The Chair of the Sovereign 259 

VII. Black Book of Caermarthen XXXT. . . 261 

VIII. Book of Taliessin xxx. . . .264 

i Black Book of Caermarthen xxii. Geraint, son ^ 

IX. 5 ofErbin . . . V 266 

( Red Book of Hergest xiv, . . ; 


X. Book of Taliessin x. Daronwy . . 269 

XL Book of Taliessin lii. The Praise of Lludd the 

Great . . . .271 



XII. Book of Taliessiii xiv. . .274 

XIII. Book of Taliessin viii. The Battle of Godeu . 276 
^j^jBookofTaliessini. ) ^^^ 

( Red Book of Hergest xxili. ) 
XV. Book of Taliessin XLiii. Death-song of Dylan 

son of the Wave . . . .288 

XVI, Black Book of Caermarthen xxxv. . .288 

XVII. Eed Book of Hergest XXII. . . .290 

XVIII. Black Book of Caermarthen xxxiiL . . 293 


XIX. Book of Taliessin XVI. The Chair of Cerid wen 296 
XX. Book of Taliessin XLViii. Death -song of 

XJthyr Pendragon . . .297 

XXI. Book of Taliessin xlv. . . .299 

XXII. Book of Taliessin xii. The Praise of Taliessin 300 

XXIII. Black Book of Caermarthen xxxviii. . 302 


XXIV. Black Book of Caermarthen xv. 
( Book of Taliessin xxi. 
( Black Book of Caermarthen xiv. 

XXVI. Black Book of Caermarthen viii. 
XXVIII. Book of Taliessin xxv. 
XXIX. Black Book of Caermarthen xix. 
of the Graves 








The Verses 









XXX, Black Book of Caermarthen xxxix. Names 

of the Sous of Llywarch Hen . . 319 

XXXI. Black Book of Caermarthen xxx. . .321 

XXXII. Black Book of Caermarthen xxxiv. . 325 

XXXIII. Red Book of Hergest xi. . . . 326 


XXXIV. Black Book of Caermarthen xxxii. . 336 
XXXV. Book of Taliessin xi. . . . 337 

XXXVI. Book of Taliessin xxxviii. . . .338 


XXXVII. Red Book of Hergest xvii. . 341 

XXXVIII. Book of Taliessin xxxi. . . .343 

XXXIX. Book of Taliessin xxxii. . . .344 

XL. Book of Taliessin xxxiii. . . . 346 

XLI. Book of Taliessin xxxiv. . .348 

XLII. Book of Taliessin xxxvi. . . .350 

XLIII. Book of Taliessin xxxix. The Satisfaction 

ofUrien . . . .352 

XLIV. Book of Taliessin xxxvii. The Spoils of 

Taliessin, a Song to Urien . .353 

XLV. Red Book of Hergest xii. . . .355 


XLVI. Book of Taliessin xviii. . . .363 



XLVII. Book of TaUessin xxxv. The Affair of 

Argoed Llwyfain . . .365 

XL VIII. Book of Taliessin XLIV. Death-song of Owain 366 


XLIX. Black Book of Caermartheu i. . . 368 

L. Black Book of Caermarthen xvii. . . 370 


LI. Book of Aneurin i. The Gododin . 374 

LII. Book of Aneurin II. The Gorchan of Tudvwlch 410 

LIII. Book of Aneurin iv. The Gorchan of Cynvelyn 412 

LI V. Book of Aneurin v. The Gwarchan of Maelderw 414 

LV. Book of Taliessin xx. Song to Ale . .427 


LVI. Book of Taliessin XLIX. .431 

LVIL Book of Taliessin L. ... 432 

LVIII. Red Book of Hergest xv. . . . 433 


LIX. Book of Taliessin vi. The Omen of Prydein 

the Great . . . .436 

LX. Book of Taliessin XLVii. . . .443 

LXI. Book of Taliessin Liii. . . .444 


LXII. Book of Taliessin xxiii. Satire of Cynan 

Garwyn son of Brochwael . . 447 

LXIII. Red Book of Hergest xvi. . . .448 




LXIV. Red Book of Hergest i. A Dialogue between ^^°^ 
Myrdin and his sister Gwendydd . . 462 

LXV. Red Book of Hergest ii. A Fugitive Poem of 

Myrdin in his Grave . . . 478 

LXVI. Black Book of Caermarthen xvi. . .481 

LXVII. Black Book of Caermarthen xviii. . .482 

LXVIII. Red Book of Hergest xx. . . 490 

LXIX. Red Book of Hergest xix. . . .492 

LXX. Red Book of Hergest xxi. . . 493 




LXXI. Black Book of Caermarthen II. Meigant 497 

LXXII. Black Book of Caermarthen ill. Cuhelyn . 498 
LXXIII. Black Book of Caermarthen iv. . 500 

LXXIV. Black Book of Caermarthen xx. The Cyng- 

hogion of Elaeth . . .501 

LXXV. Black Book of Caermarthen xxi. . . 502 


LXXVI. Black Book of Caermarthen v. 

LXXVII. Black Book of Caermarthen vi. 

LXXVIII. Black Book of Caermarthen vii. 

LXXIX. Black Book of Caermarthen ix. 

LXXX. Black Book of Caermarthen x. 

LXXXI. Black Book of Caermarthen xi. 

LXXXII. Black Book of Caermarthen xii. 




LXXXIII. Black Book of Caermarthen XIII. . 513 

LXXXIV. Black Book of Caermarthen xxv. . 515 

LXX XV. Black Book of Caermarthen XXIX. . 516 


LXXXVI. Black Book of Caermarthen xxvi. . 518 

LXXXVIL Black Book of Caermarthen xxvii. . 519 




LXXXVIII. Book of Aneurin iii. The Gwarchan of 

Adebon . . . .522 



LXXXIX. Book of Taliessin iii. The Fold of the 

Bards . . .523 

XC. Book of Taliessm vii. Hostile Confederacy 525 
XCI. Book of Taliessin xiii. The Chair of 

Taliessin . . . .533 

XCII. Book of Taliessin xvii. Song to the Wind 535 
XCIII. Book of Taliessin xix. Song to Mead . 538 
XCIV. Book of Taliessin LV. Song to the Great 

World . . . .539 



XCV. Book of Taliessin lvi. Song to the Little 

World . . . .541 

XCVI. Book of Taliessin ix. Juvenile Ornaments of 

Taliessin . . . . .542 

XCVII. Book of Taliessin ii. The Elegy of the 

Thousand Sons . . . .545 

XCVIII. Book of Taliessin iv. The Pleasant Things 

of Taliessin . . . .550 

XCIX. Book of Taliessin v. . . .552 

C. Book of Taliessin xxvii. . . .557 


CI. Book of Taliessin xxii. The Plagues of Egypt 559 

CII. Book of Taliessin xxiv. Tlie Eod of Moses . 561 

cm. Book of Taliessin xxix. . . .563 

CIV. Book of Taliessin Li. . . .564 



CV. Book of Taliessin xxvi. The Contrived 

World . . . . .566 

CVI. Book of Taliessin xxviii . .567 




CVII. Red Book of Hergest v. . . .569 

CVm. Red Book of Hergest VI. . . .571 

CIX. Red Book of Hergest vii. . .573 



ex. Red Book of Hergest viii. . .574 

CXI. Red Book of Hergest ix. . . 576 

CXII. Red Book of Hergest x. . . . 580 

CXIII. Red Book of Hergest xiii. . .584 


CXIV. Red Book of Hergest iv. . . . 586 

CXV. Red Book of Hergest iii. . . .590 


CXVI. Red Book of Hergest xviii. . . .595 

CXVII. Red Book of Hergest xxiv. The Viaticum of 

Ilevoed Wynebglawr . . .596 


Facsimile of Page of the Black Book of Caermarthen, 

Folio 25 . . . To face Title-page. 

Map of Prydyn or Y Gogled . To face page 1 



The dissolution of the religious houses in Wales in the 
reign of Henry the Eighth, and the dispersion of their 
libraries, led to many Welsh MSS., which had been 
preserved in them, passing into the hands of private 
individuals ; and collections of Welsh MSS. soon began 
to be formed by persons who took an interest in the 
liistory and literature of their country. 

The principal collectors in North Wales were Mr. 
Jones of Gelly Lyvdy, whose collection was formed 
between the years 1590 and 1630, and Mr. Robert 
Vaughan of Hengwrt, author of a work termed 
British Antiquities Revived, published in 1662, who 
died at Hengwrt four years after, in 1666 ; and in 
South Wales, AVilliam Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, who 
formed a collection at Raglan Castle in 1590 ; and Sir 
Edward Mansel, whose father had received a gift of 
the priory of Margam in Glamorgan, in 1591. 

The collections of Mr. Jones and Mr. Vaughan 
became united at Hengwrt, an arrangement having 
been made between them that the MSS. collected by 
each should become the property of the survivor. 
Mr. Jones having predeceased Mr. Vaughan, the united 
collection, consisting of upwards of 400 MSS., remained 

VOL. I. B 


at Hengwrt till within the last few years, when it was 
bequeathed by Sir Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt to W. 
W. E. Wynne, Esq. of Peniarth, in whose possession 
it now is. 

In the following century various collections were 
made, and among others some valuable MSS. became 
the property of Jesus College, Oxford. The collection 
of the Earl of Pembroke at Raglan Castle was destroyed 
by fire in the time of Oliver Cromwell ; and a similar 
fate overtook two of these later collections, which had 
become the property of Sir Watkin Williams Wynne, 
and were preserved at Wynnstay, but which were like- 
wise destroyed by fire. Other collections passed into 
the British Museum, and the principal collections of 
Welsh MSS. are now the Hengwrt collection at 
Peniarth, those in the British Museum, the MSS. at 
Jesus College, and those belonging to Lord Mostyn, 
Mr. Panton of Plas Cwyn, and others. 

In the Hengwrt collection were preserved three 
ancient MSS., termed the Black Book of Caermarthen, 
the Book of Aneurin, and the Book of Taliessin, con- 
taining a considerable collection of Welsh poetry bear- 
ing marks of antiquity ; and in the library of Jesus 
College is a MS. which contains similar poems, termed 
the Red Book of Hergest. These poems are some of a 
historic character, and others not so, and are attributed, 
either by their rubric, by the title of the MS., or by 
tradition, to four bards termed Myrddin, Aneurin, 
Taliessin, and Llywarch Hen, who are supposed to have 
lived in the sixth century. 


Two of these MSS. are still in the Hengwrt 
coUection, and of one of them we know the history : 
the Black Book of Caermarthen belonged to the Priory 
of Black Canons at Caermarthen, and was given by 
the Treasm^er of the Chm'ch of St. Davids to Sir John 
Price, a native of Breconshire, who was one of the 
commissioners appointed by King Henry the Eighth ; 
the other is the Book of Taliessin, and it is not known 
how it was acquired. 

The Book of Aneurin is now the property of Sir 
Thomas Phillipps of Middlehill. 

The Ked Book of Hergest is said to have been so 
termed from its having been compiled for the Vaughans 
of Hergest Court, Herefordshire, and seems to liave 
come to Oxford from the Margam Collection in South 

It is these four MSS. — the Black Book of Caermar- 
then, written in the reign of Henry the Second (1154- 
1189) ; the Book of Aneurin, a MS. of the latter part of 
the thirteenth century ; the Book of Taliessin, a MS. of 
the beginning of the fourteenth century ; and the Eed 
Book of Hergest, a MS. compiled at different times in 
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries — that are here 
termed The Four Ancient Books of Wales, and it 
is with the ancient poems contained in these four MSS. 
that we have now to do. 

Numerous transcripts of these poems are to be found 
in other Welsh MSS., but undoubtedly it is in these 
four MSS. that the most ancient, texts of the poems 
are to be found ; and, in most cases, those in the other 


MSS. are not independent texts, but have obviously, 
with more or less variation, been transcribed from these. 
The contents of these MSS. remained little known 
till the publication of the Archceologia Britannica in 
1707, by Edward Lhuyd, who had examined all the 
collections which were accessible, and the account 
which he included in his work of the Welsh MSS. 
attracted some attention towards them, but none of 
the poems were printed till the middle of the century, 
when the publication of the poems of Ossian by James 
Macpherson, and the sudden popularity they acquired, 
gave a temporary value to Celtic poetry, and led to a 
desire on the part of the Welsh to show that they 
were likewise in possession of a body of native poems 
not less interesting than the Highland, and with better 
claims to authenticity. In 1764, the Rev. Evan 
Evans published his Speciifnens of the Poetry of the 
Ancient Welsh Bards ; and though they mainly em- 
braced poems written in the twelfth and subsequent 
centuries, translated in the style of Macpherson's 
Ossian, he annexed a Latin dissertation, Be Bardis, in 
which he printed ten of the stanzas of the great poem 
of the Gododin, and a stanza from the Avallenau, as 
specimens of the older poems, with Latin translations. 
He was followed by Edward Jones, who, in his Musical 
and Poetical Relics of the Welsh Bards, published in 
1784, printed a part of the Gododin, three of the 
poems of Taliessin — ^viz. the Battle of Argoed Llwyfain, 
the Battle of Gwenystrad, and the Mead song, one 
of the poems of Llywarch Hen, w4th metrical transla- 


tions, and part of the Avallenau, with a more literal 
prose translation by Mr. Edward Williams. He was 
likewise assisted in his work by Dr. W. Owen, afterwards 
Dr. Owen Pughe, who, a few years afterwards, pub- 
lished five of the poems of Taliessin in the Gentleman's 
Magazine for the years 1789 and 1790, being the 
Ode to Gwallawg, the Death-Song of Owen, the 
Battle of Dyffryn Garant, the Battle of Gwenystrad, 
and the Gorchan Cynvelyn, with English translations. 
These translations, however, were too diffuse and too 
much tainted by a desire to give the passages a mystic 
meaning, to convey a fair idea of the real nature of 
the poems. 

In 1792, Dr. Owen Pughe published The Heroic 
Elegies, and other pieces of Llywarch Hen, with a 
much more literal English version. The work contains 
a pretty complete collection of the poems attributed to 
Llywarch Hen, but it is not said from what MS. the 
text was printed, while the notes contain collations 
with the Black Book of Caermarthen and the Red 
Book of Hergest."^' 

At length, in the year 1801, the text of the whole 
of these poems was given to the world, through the 
munificence of Owen Jones, a furrier in Thames Street, 

* It is remarkable that there is no reference to readings in the 
Llyfr du in the poems which are actually to be found there, while in 
six poems which are not in the Black Booh, the foot of the page is 
full of references to the Llyfr du for various readings. These various 
readings, so far as I have been able to judge, correspond with the Red 
Book of Hergest, while those attributed to the Llyfr each are not to be 
found there. 


London, who, in that and subsequent years, published 
the Myvyrian Archceology of Wales, containing the chief 
productions of Welsh literature. He was assisted by 
Mr. Edward Williams of Glamorgan and Dr. Owen 
Pughe; but though the text of almost all of these 
poems is given, it is not said from what particular 
MSS. they were printed, and no materials are afforded 
for discriminating between what are probably old and 
what are spurious. The text is unaccompanied by 

If the publication of the poems of Ossian thus drew 
attention to these ancient Welsh poems, the contro- 
versy which followed on the poems drew forth an able 
vindication of the genuine character of the latter. 
Sharon Turner, in his History of the ^Anglo-Saxons, 
the first edition of which appeared in 1799, founded 
upon some of these poems as historical documents. 
He quoted the Death-Song of Geraint as containing 
the account of a real battle at Longporth, or Ports- 
mouth, between Cerdic, the founder of the kingdom of 
Wesser, and the Britons. He referred to the poems 
of Taliessin on the battles of Argoed Llwyfain and 
Gwenystrad as real history, and he considered the 
great poem of the Gododin by Aneurin as de- 
scribing: a real war between the Britons and the 
Angles of Ida's kingdom. This drew upon him the 
criticism of the two chief opponents of the claims of 
Ossian — viz. John Pinkerton and Malcolm Laing — who 
declared that these Welsh poems were equally un- 
worthy of credit. In consequence of this attack, 


Turner published, in 1803, his Vindication of the 
genuineness of the ancient British poems of Aneurin, 
Taliessin, Llywarch Hen, and Myrddin. In this ela- 
borate essay he endeavoured to demonstrate two pro- 
positions -.—First, That these four bards were real 
men, and actually lived in the sixth century ; and, 
secondly, that, with some exceptions, the poems attri- 
buted to them are their genuine works. He dealt, 
however, with the historical poems alone as sufficient 
for his purpose, and did not enter into any critical 
analysis of the poems as a whole. This vindication 
was, in the main, considered to be conclusive as to the 
poems being the genuine works of the bards whose name 
they bore ; and it appeared to be now generally ac- 
cepted as a fact, that a body of genuine poetry, of the 
sixth century, existed in the Welsh language, which 
threw light upon the history of that century. 

A new view was, however, soon taken of their real 
meaning ; and some years after, the Eev. Edward 
Davies brought out, in his work called the Mythology 
of the British Druids, published in 1809, his theory 
that there was handed down in these poems a system 
of mythology which had been the religion of the 
Druids in the pagan period, and was still professed in 
secret by the bards, their genuine successors. The 
Gododin, he endeavoured to show by an elaborate 
translation, related to the traditionary history of the 
massacre of the Britons by the Saxons at Stonehenge, 
called the Plot of the Long Knives ; and he appended 
to his work a number of the poems of Taliessin, with 


translations to sliow the mystic meaning which per- 
vaded them. This theory was still further elaborated 
by the Honourable Algernon Herbert, in two works 
published anonymously : Britannia after the Romans, 
in 1836 ; and The Neo-Druidic Heresy, in 1838. He 
took the same view with regard to the meaning of the 
Gododin ; and he combined with much ingenious and 
wild speculation regarding the post-Roman history of 
Britain, the theory that a lurking adherence to the old 
paganism of the Druids had caused a schism in the 
British church, and that the bards, under the name of 
Christians and the guise of Christian nomenclature, pro- 
fessed in secret a paganism as an esoteric cult, which 
he denominated the Neo-Druidic heresy, and which he 
maintained was obscurely hinted at in the poems of 
Taliessin. It would probably be difficult to find a 
stranger specimen of perverted ingenuity and misplaced 
learning than is contained in the works of Davies and 
Herbert ; but the urgency with which they maintained 
their views, and the disguise under which the poems 
appeared in their so-called translations, certainly pro- 
duced an impression that the poems of Taliessin did 
contain a mystic philosophy, while, at the same time, 
the Gododin of Aneurin and the poems of Llywarch 
Hen were generally recognised as genuine historical 
documents commemorating real historical events. 

The Rev. John Williams, afterwards Archdeacon of 
Cardigan, an eminent Welsh scholar, and a man of 
much talent, announced, in 1841, a translation of the 
poems of Aneurin, Taliessin, and other primitive bards, 


with a critical revision and re-establishment of the text; 
but, although these poems had occupied a large share 
of his attention, I believe he never seriously prepared 
the materials for his edition, and he died in 1858, 
without having done anything towards carrying it out. 
I have frequently heard him give as a reason the 
great difficulty involved, and time and labour required, 
" in restoring the genuine text." What he meant by 
this we can see in the last work he published, termed 
Gomer, where (part ii. p. 33 et seq.), we have several 
specimens of how he meant to deal with the text. His 
plan obviously was to restore the orthography of 
the w^ords from the existing text in the Myvyrian 
Archaeology to what he conceived must have been their 
form when the respective poems were composed. His 
mind, too, appears to have been influenced in no slight 
degree by the school of Davies, and he was too ready to 
attach a mystic meaning to the text. In 1850, some 
time before the Archdeacon's death, a learned Breton, 
the Vicomte de la Villemarque, published his Foemes 
des Bardes Bretons du VI*. Siecle, traduitspour la pre- 
miere fois, avec le texte en regard revu sur les plus 
anciens manuscrits; and he, too, proceeded upon 
the same idea of restoring the original text. In his 
preface, after noticing the oldest copies of the poems, 
which he says formed the basis of his edition, he adds, 
" Apres le travail de collation, il restait a reproduire 
les textes avec I'orthographe convenable, mais la 
quelle suivre ; " and he fixes upon the Breton ortho- 
graphy as the most ancient, and in this, which he 


terms " rorthograplie historique," presents us with the 
text of the poems which he translates. These poems 
are mainly the historical pieces, and he considers with 
Turner that they contain fragments of real history. 

A more unfortunate idea than that of thus arbi- 
trarily restoring the text never formed the basis of an 
important work ; and while it has destroyed the value 
of Villemarque's edition, it lessens the regret we should 
otherwise feel that the Archdeacon never carried his 
announced intention into effect. To present the poems 
in a diflferent shape from what they appear in the 
oldest transcripts, and to clothe them with a supposed 
older orthography, is to confound entirely the province 
of the editor with that of the historic critic, and to 
exercise, in the character of the former, functions which 
properly belong to the latter, while it deprives him of 
the proper materials on which to exercise his critical 
judgment. Such restoration necessarily proceeds on 
the assumption by the editor that the poems are the 
genuine works of those to whom they are attributed, 
and existed in the same form and substance at the 
era at which their reputed authors lived ; while the 
application of historical criticism to the poems as they 
now exist may lead to very different conclusions. It 
supersedes entirely the important work of the critic, 
by assuming the very questions which he has to solve. 
The true function of the editor is to select the oldest 
and best MSS., and to produce the text of the poems 
in the precise shape and orthography in which he there 
finds them : neither to tamper with, nor to restore 


them, but to furnish the critic with the materials on 
which he can exercise his skill in determining their 
true age and value.'"" 

These remarks have likewise some bearing upon 
two very remarkable works which have inaugurated a 
new school of criticism of these poems, and subjected 
their claims to tests which they had not hitherto 
undergone. These two works QiIQ— first, The Literature 
of the Kymry, by Thomas Stephens, published in 
1849; and, secondly, Taliessin, or the Bards and 
Druids of Britain, by D. W. Nash, published in 1858. 

The main object of Mr. Stephens' work is to treat 
of the language and literature of the twelfth and two 
succeeding centuries ; but it embraces likewise the 
poems attributed to the bards of the sixth century, in 
so far as he maintains that they are falsely so attri- 
buted, and are really the works of later bards. Mr. 
Stephens' work is written with much ability, and is, 
in fact, the first real attempt to subject these poems to 
anything like a critical analysis. He opens one of his 
chapters, to which he has put the title, "Poems, fic- 
titiously attributed to Myrddin, Taliessin, Aneurin, 
Llywarch, Meugant, and Golyddan," with the following 
sentence : — " Eeader ! be attentive to what I am about 
to write, and keep a watchful eye upon the sentences 
as they rise before you, for the daring spirit of modern 

* In 1852, an edition of the Gododin was published, with a translation, by 
J, Williams, at Ithel. He adopts the historical view of this poem, and has 
given the text, such as he had it, with much fidelity ; while the translation, 
though somewhat too free, is the first to give anything like a fair idea of the 


criticism is about to lay violent hands upon the old 
household furniture of venerable tradition ;" and he 
certainly fulfils this promise, for he maintains that, 
with some exceptions, these poems contain allusions, 
and breathe forth a spirit and sentiment, which demon- 
strate that they were composed subsequent to the 
twelfth century; and he endeavours to indicate their 
real authors. Of the poems attributed to Aneurin he 
appears to admit the Gododin to be genuine. He 
considers the whole of the poems attributed to Myrddin, 
including even the Avallenau — which Turner main- 
tained to be genuine — to be spurious, and the work of 
later bards, and endeavours to point out their real 
authors, hesitatingly in the text, but more decidedly 
in the title to one of his chapters, where he has — 
" The Avallenau and Hoianau, composed by Prydydd 
y Moch. The Gorddodau, composed by Gruff'ydd ab Yr 
Ynad Coch ;" and of seventy-seven poems attributed 
to Taliessin, he admits only twelve to be " historical 
and as old as the sixth century." 

His admission that some of these poems are as old 
as the sixth century of course neutralises any argu- 
ment drawn from their orthography and grammatical 
or poetical structure, unless he can show that the 
poems he maintains to be spurious differ materially 
in that respect from those he admits to be genuine ; 
and his attempt to indicate their real authors breaks 
down in so far as the Avallenau and Hoianau, and other 
poems contained in the Black Book of Caermarthen, 
are concerned ; for the poems in that MS. must have 


been already transcribed in the twelfth century, and 
Prydydd y Moch belongs to the succeeding century. 
So far as he shows that several of these poems contain 
direct allusions to events which occurred after the 
period when they are said to be composed, his criticism 
is successful, and may be received as well founded ; 
but in his attempt to show that allusions, hitherto sup- 
posed to apply to events contemporaneous with the 
alleged date of the poem, were really intended to de- 
scribe later events — which is, in fact, the main feature of 
his criticism — he is not equally successful. His reason- 
ing appears to me to be quite inconclusive, the 
resemblances faint and uncertain, and the argument 
carries no conviction to the mind. For instance, in 
the poem attributed to Taliessin, termed Kerdd y 
Veib Llyr, where the lines occur — 

" A battle against the lord of fame in the dales of Hafren, 
Against Brochwel Powys ; he loved my song"'- — 

it is a fair and legitimate inference that it could not 
have been composed prior to the time of Brochmail, 
who is mentioned by Bede as having been at the battle 
of Caerlegion, the true date of which is 613; but 
when the following lines occur in a subsequent part of 
the same poem — 

" Three races, wrathful, of right qualities, 
Gwyddyl, and Brython, and Eomani, 
Create war and tumult," 

it is not satisfactory to be told that " they refer to the 
ecclesiastic dispute between Giraldus and King John 
respecting the see of St. David's." It is therefore not 


without reason that the reader is exhorted to keep a 
watchful eye upon the sentences condemning the 
poems upon such grounds. 

Mr. Nash, in his work, deals with the poems attri- 
buted to Taliessin only, and in the main he follows up 
the criticisms of Stephens. He goes, however, a step 
beyond him, as, without directly asserting it, he implies 
that none of the poems are older than the twelfth 
century, if he does not really assort that no earlier 
date can be assigned to them than the date of the 
oldest MS. in which they are found. Of the historical 
poems he sums up his criticism thus: — "Without, 
therefore, venturing to decide that these ' Songs to 
Urien' were not re- written in the twelfth century, 
from materials originally of the date of the sixth, 
and that there are no poetical remains in the Welsh 
language older than the twelfth century, we may 
nevertheless assert that the common assumption of 
such remains of the date of the sixth century has 
been made upon very unsatisfactory grounds, and 
without a sufficiently careful examination of the 
evidence on which such assumption should be founded. 
Writers who claim for productions actually existing 
only in MSS. of the twelfth an origin in the sixth 
century, are called upon to demonstrate the links of 
evidence, either internal or external, which bridge 
over this great intervening period of at least five 
hundred years. This external evidence is altogether 
wanting, and the internal evidence, even of the so- 
called ' Historical Poems ' themselves, is, in some 


instances at least, opposed to their claims to an origin 
in the sixth century." What he caUs the mytholo- 
gical poems he entirely rejects, and appears to place 
them eveii in a much later dge than Stephens has 

While Mr. Nash's work must be admitted to be 
written with much ability, certainly the merit of 
candour cannot equally be attributed to it. It is less 
an attempt to subject the poems to a fair and just 
criticism than simply a very clever piece of special 
pleading, in which, like all special pleading, he proceeds 
to demonstrate a foregone conclusion by the usual 
partial and one-sided view of the facts — assuming 
whatever appears to make for his argument, and 
ignoring what seems to oppose it; while he makes 
conjectural alterations of the text when it suits his 
purpose, and the real sense of the poems which form 
the subject of his criticism is disguised under a ver- 
sion which he terms a translation, but which affords 
anything but a faithful or candid representation of 
their contents. 

I consider that the true value of these poems is a 
problem which has still to be solved. Are we to 
attach any real historical value to them, or are we to 
set them aside at once as worthless for aU historical 
purposes, and as merely curious specimens of the 
nonsensical rhapsodies and perverted taste of a later 
age ? 

Whether these poems are the genuine works of the 
bards whose names they bear, or whether they ai*e the 



production of a later age, I do not believe that they 
contain any such system of Druidism, or Neo-Druidism, 
as Davies, Herbert, and others, attempt to find in them ; 
nor do I think that their authors wrote, and the com- 
pilers of these ancient MSS. took the pains to tran- 
scribe, century after century, what was a mere farrago 
of nonsense, and of no historical or literary value. I 
think that these poems have a meaning, and that, both 
in connection with the history and the literature of 
Wales, that meaning is worth finding out ; and I think, 
further, that if they were subjected to a just and 
candid criticism, we ought to be able to ascertain their 
true place and value in the literature of Wales. The 
criticism to which they have hitherto been subjected is 
equally unsatisfactory, whether they are maintained to 
be genuine or to be spurious, mainly because the basis 
of the criticism is an uncertain and untrustworthy text, 
and any criticism on the existing texts, in the shape in 
which they are presented in the Myvyrian Archaeology, 
is, comparatively speaking, valueless ; and because 
the translations by which their meaning is attempted 
to be expressed, are either loose and inaccurate, or 
coloured by the views of the translators. Those who 
deal with the poems as the genuine works of the bards 
whose names they bear, and view them as containing a 
recondite system of Druidism, or semi-pagan philo- 
sophy, present us with a translation which is, to say 
the least of it, mysterious enough in all conscience. 
Those, again, who consider them to be the work of a 
later age, and to contain nothing but a mere farrago 


of nonsense, have no difficulty in producing a transla- 
tion which amply bears out that character. 

The work of the editor must, however, precede 
that of the critic. An essential preliminary is to give 
the text of these poems in the oldest form in which 
it is to be found, and in the precise orthography of 
the oldest MSS., and to present a translation which 
shall give as accurate and faithful a representation of 
the meaning of the poems as is now possible as the basis 
of the work of the critic. The object of the present 
work is to accomplish this. The contents of the four 
MSS., here called the Four Ancient Books of Wales, 
are printed as accurately as possible, — those of the 
first three completely, and as much of the last as 
contains any of these poems. It is in these four MSS. 
that the oldest known texts are to be found ; and 
in order to secure a faithful and impartial trans- 
lation, I resolved, in order to avoid any risk of its 
being coloured by my own views, to refrain from 
attempting the translation myself, and to obtain 
it, if possible, from the most eminent living Welsh 
scholars. With this view, I applied to the Reverend 
D. Silvan Evans of Llanymawddwy, the author of the 
English and Welsh Dictionary and other works, and 
the Reverend Robert Williams of Rhydycroesau, author 
of the Biography of Eminent Welshmen and the 
Cornish Dictionary, both distinguished Welsh scholars, 
who most kindly acceded to my request. Mr. Evans 
has translated for me the poems in the Black Book of 
Caermarthen, the Book of Aneurin, and the Red Book 

VOL. I. C 


of Hergest, and accompanied them with valuable notes. 
Mr. Williams has translated for me the poems in the 
Book of Taliessin ; and I beg to record my sense of 
the deep obligation under which they have laid me by 
the valuable assistance thus afforded. But while these 
eminent scholars are so far answerable for the trans- 
lations, it is due to them to add that they are not 
responsible for any opinions expressed in this work 
except those contained in their own notes ; and that, 
by permitting their names to be connected with this 
work, they must not be held as sanctioning the views 
entertained by myself, and to which I have given 
expression in the following chapters, or in the notes I 
have added."' 

* The Welsh text has been printed for some years. It was put in 
type as soon as the collation of the manuscript copy of the poems 
with the original MSS. was completed, and again collated in proof, 
and then thrown off, in order to facilitate the work of translation. The 
only request made to the translators was to make their version as literal 
and accurate as possible, even though the meaning might be obscured 
thereby ; and the care and time requisite to prepare such a translation 
deliberately has delayed the appearance of the work since then. While 
engaged in the preliminary investigations, I from time to time com- 
municated fragments of what was intended to appear in the Introduc- 
tion and Notes in occasional papers to the Archceologia Cambrensis. 




Prior to the twelfth century there are not many- 
poems which claim to belong to the literatm:e of that 
period, besides those attributed to Taliessin, Aneurin, 
Llywarch Hen, and Myrddin. The Black Book of Caer- 
marthen contains a few attributed to Cuhelyn, Elaeth, 
and Meigant ; and the Red Book of Hergest, one to 
Tyssilio, son of Brochwael Yscythrog ; but the number 
of such poems is so smaU, that, if the poems attributed 
to the bards of the sixth century really belong to that 
period, there is an interval of several centuries, during 
which such a literature either never existed or has 
perished, till the twelfth century, from which period a 
mass of poetic literature existed in Wales, and has been 
preserved to us. Of the genuine character of that 
poetry there seems to be no doubt. 

In order, then, to estimate rightly the, place which 
the poems attributed to the bards of the sixth century 
ought truly to occupy in the literature of Wales, it 
will be necessary to form a just conception of the char- 
acter of her later literature subsequent to the twelfth 
century, as well as to grasp the leading facts of her 


history during tlie previous centuries in their true 

In the eleventh century two events happened which 
seem to have had a material influence on the literature 
of Wales. The one was the return of Ehys ap Tewdwr, 
the true heir to the throne of South Wales, in 1077, 
and the other was the landing of Gruflyd ap Cynan, 
the true heir to the throne of North Wales, in 1080. 

On the death of Edwal, the last of the direct line 
of the Welsh kings, in 994, leaving an only son in 
minority ; and of Meredith, Prince of South Wales, in 
994, leaving an only daughter, the government of both 
provinces of Wales fell into the hands of usurpers. 
Cynan, who represented the North Wales line, fled to 
Ireland in 1041, where he married a daughter of the 
Danish king of Dublin, and after two fruitless at- 
tempts to recover his inheritance by the assistance of 
the Irish, died in Ireland, leaving a son Gruflyd. Khys 
ap Tewdwr, the representative of the South Wales 
line, took refuge in Armorica, whence he returned in 
1077; and, laying claim to the throne of South 
Wales, was unanimously elected by the people. 
Gruflyd ap Cynan invaded Anglesea with a body of 
troops obtained in Ireland, and having been joined by 
Ehys ap Tewdwr, their combined forces defeated the 
army of Trahaearn, then King of Wales, their opponent, 
at the battle of Carno in 1080, where that prince was 
slain, and Rhys ap Tewdwr and Gruflyd ap Cynan 
were confirmed on the thrones of their ancestors. 

The return of these two princes to Wales — the one 


from Ireland, where he had been born and must have 
been familiar with the Irish school of poetry, and the 
other from Armorica, where he probably became ac- 
quainted with Armoric traditions, created a new era 
in Welsh literature, and a great outburst of literary 
energy took place, which in North Wales manifested 
itself in a very remarkable revival of poetry, while in 
South Wales it took more the shape of prose literature. 
Between 1080 and 1400, Stephens enumerates no 
fewer than seventy-nine bards, many of whose works 
are preserved, and the Red Book of Hergest, concludes 
with a body of poetry transcribed apparently by 
Lewis Glyn Cothi, and attributed to bards, forty-five 
in number, who lived in a period ranging from 1100 
to 1450. One of the earliest of these bards was 
Cynddelw, commonly called Prydydd Mawr, or the 
great bard. He was bard to Madog ap Meredyth, Prince 
of Powis, who died in 1159, and two elegies on his 
death, by Cynddelw, are contained in the Black Book 
of Caermarthen. There is every reason to believe 
that the latter part at least of this MS. was transcribed 
by him. 

The influence produced upon Welsh literature by 
the return of Rhys ap Tewdwr to South Wales was of 
a different description ; and it is probably from this 
period that the introduction into Wales of Armoric 
traditions may be dated. The appearance of the 
History of the Britons, by Geoffrey of Monmouth, was 
the first open manifestation of it. This work, which is 
written in Latin, at once attained great popularity, 


and made the fabulous history which it contained, w^ith 
the romantic tales of Uthyr Pendragon, and Arthur 
with his Round Table, familiar to the whole world. 
There is prefixed to this history an epistle-dedica- 
tory to Robert, Earl of Gloucester, son of Henry I. 
It must therefore have been compiled prior to his 
death in 1147. In this epistle he states that Walter, 
Archdeacon of Oxford, a man of great eloquence and 
learned in foreign histories, gave him a very ancient 
book in the British tongue {quondam Britannici 5er- 
monis lihrum vetustissimum), giving an account of the 
Kings of Britain from Brutus to Cadwaladyr, and that 
he had, at the Archdeacon's request, translated it into 
Latin ; and he concludes his history by committing to 
his contemporary, Caradoc of Llancarvan, the history 
of the subsequent Kings in Wales, as he does that of 
the Kings of the Saxons to William of Malmesbury 
and Henry of Huntingdon, whom he advises to be silent 
concerning the Kings of the Britons, since they have 
not the book written in the British tongue (lihrum 
Britannici sermonis), which Walter, Archdeacon of 
Oxford, brought out of Britanny (Britannia), and which 
being a true history, he has thus taken care to trans- 
late. William of Malmesbury's history is likewise 
dedicated to Robert, Earl of Gloucester, and is brought 
down to the 28th year of Henry I., or 1125, in which 
year it appears to have been written. Henry of Hunt- 
ingdon's history of the English is dedicated to Alex- 
ander, Bishop of Lincoln, and the first part terminates 
with the death of Henry I. in 1135, in which year it 


appears to have been written. Geoffrey must there- 
fore have finished his translation, if his account be true, 
or compiled his work, if it is original, before these dates ; 
but as in his epistle-dedicatory he invites his patron to 
correct his work, so as to make it more polished, it is 
possible that there may have been editions prior to 
the one finally given forth as the completed work, 
which this epistle and postscript accompanied. 

That there was such a person as Walter, Arch- 
deacon of Oxford, seems now admitted ; but whether 
the tale of the Welsh book, brought from Britanny and 
translated into Latin, is a reality or one of those 
fictions occasionally prefixed to original works, is a 
question of very great difficulty ; and it will be neces- 
sary to inquire whether any light is thrown upon it 
by the Welsh versions termed Brut y Brenhinoedd, or 
the History of the Kings. Two of these versions are 
printed in the Myvyiian Archaeology. The second is 
obviously a translation from the Latin edition, as we 
now have it, to which it closely adheres, and is there 
termed Bi^t Geoffrey ap Arthur. The first is said 
to be taken from the Red Book of Hergest ; the nar- 
rative is shorter and simpler ; the epistle-dedicatory is 
not prefixed to it, and it contains at the end of it this 
postscript, " I, Walter, Archdeacon of Oxford, did turn 
this book out of Welsh {Cymraeg) into Latin ; and in 
my old age I turned it a second time out of Latin into 
Welsh." The editor considers this version to be the ori- 
ginal Welsh book brought by Walter the Archdeacon 
from Britanny; and conjecturing that it belongs to an 


earlier period, and may have been written by Tyssilio, 
son of Brochwael, who is said to have written a history 
and to have lived in the seventh century, he has 
without any authority termed it Brut Tyssilio. It is 
the text from which the Rev. Peter Roberts translated 
his English version termed The Chronicle of the Kings 
of Britaiji, translated from the Welsh copy attributed 
to Tyssilio, and published in 1811. 

Now, though the text of the so-called Brut Tyssilio 
is distinctly stated both by the editor of the Myvyrian 
Archaeology and by Roberts to be taken from the Red 
Book of Hergest, no such text is to be found there. 
The text of the Brut y Brenhinoedd in the Red Book 
is the same as the second version termed Brut G. ap 
Arthur. There are two later MSS. in the library of 
Jesus College, containing a text similar to that of the 
Brut Tyssilio, and from which it was probably taken. 
They are exactly alike, but the one bears to have 
belonged to David Powell of Aberystwith in 1610, and 
is a MS. of that period, and the other to have been 
written by Hugh Jones, keeper of the Ashmolean 
Museum, in 1695, and seems to be a copy of it. 
Another copy is said to be preserved in the library at 
Downing in North Wales, having this note attached to 
it : — " Walter, Archdeacon of Oxford, translated this 
part of the Chronicle from Latin into Welsh, and 
Edward Kyffin copied it for John Trevor of Trevalin, 
A.D. 1577;" and a copy is likewise contained in the 
Booh of Basingwerk, the property of Thomas T. 
Griffith, Esq., Wrexham, which appears to be in the 


handwriting of Guttyn Owain, and to have been 
written in 1461, This is the oldest known transcript 
of this version of the Brut. 

In the British Museum (MS. Cott., Cleop. B. v.) 
there is a copy of the Brut which diflfers from this, 
but approaches more nearly to it than to the Brut G. 
ap Arthur. It has been written about the end of the 
thirteenth century, and it has the epistle-dedicatory, in 
which the book given by Walter is termed Llyvyr 
Cymraec, but in the postscript it is stated that 
the Cymraec book which Walter gave him had been 
translated by him from Latin into Cymraec, and again 
by Geoffrey from Cymraec into Latin. The text 
in the Eed Book is, as I mentioned, closely allied 
to Geoffi-ey's Latin version, but there is no epistle- 
dedicatory, and the postscript here again varies from 
the others. It states that the book Walter had was 
a Breton book {llyfr Brvtvn) which he translated 
from Breton into Cymraeg (o Brytanec yg Kymraec), 
and which Geoffrey translated into Latin. The only 
other MSS. which have been accessible to me are 
those at Hengwrt. There are several copies, some 
complete and some imperfect, but only one that has 
the postscript. It is the same text, or nearly so, as that 
in the Eed Book, but varies in the postscript. It states 
Walter's book to have been a Cymraec book, which he 
translated from Cymraec to Latin, and which Geoffrey 
likewise translated from Cymraec to Latin, and again 
from Latin to Cymraec. 

There are thus three different Welsh texts — one 


represented by the first text in the Myvyrian 
Archaeology, by the two late copies in Jesus College, 
the Downing MS., and the Book of Basingwerk; a 
second by the Cottonian MS. in the British Museum ; 
and a third by the second text in the Myv3rrian Archae- 
ology, by the text in the Ked Book of Hergest and the 
Hengwrt MS. ; but all differ in the account given of 
the original MS. By one it is said to have been Latin, 
by another Cymraec, and by a third Breton. So far 
we may extricate some facts : — All the MSS. of the first 
text agree that it was a translation by Walter the 
Archdeacon from Latin to Welsh ; on the authority of 
the Hengwrt MS., we may pronounce the third to be a 
translation into Welsh, by Geoffrey of Monmouth, of 
his Latin edition ; the second text probably represents 
an intermediate stage of the work ; all seem to imply 
that Walter's book was at all events in Latin before it 
reached Geoffrey; but whether the original was in 
Breton, in Cymraec, or in Latin, or whether there ever 
was an original, there is certainly no text, either in 
Welsh or in Latin, which now represents it ; and all of 
these texts must be placed in the first part of the 
twelfth century. 

The MSS. containing the Welsh versions usually 
have a translation into Welsh of the history of Troy, 
by Dares Phrygius, prefixed to it. Those which re- 
present the first and second texts have a chronicle 
termed Brut y Saeson annexed to it, which is expressly - 
said by the Cotton MS. to be the work of Caradauc 
of Llancarvan, and gives a chronicle of events in 


the history of Wales, interspersed with notices of the 
Saxon history ; but the text in the Eed Book is fol- 
lowed by a chronicle containing the Welsh events only, 
and to which, in a later hand, the title Brut y Tywy- 
sogion has been attached. 

The Eed Book of Hergest likewise contains the 
text of several prose tales and romances connected 
with the early history of Wales. They are eleven in 
number, and have been published, with an English 
translation, by Lady Charlotte Guest, in 1849, under 
the title of The Mabinogion, from the Llyfr Coch o 
Hergest, and other ancient Welsh manuscripts, with an 
English translation and notes. It is justly remarked 
in the preface of this collection that " some have the 
character of chivalric romances, and others bear the 
impress of a far higher antiquity, both as regards the 
manners they depict and the style of language in 
which they are composed." So greatly do these 
Mabinogion differ in character, that they may be 
considered as forming two distinct classes ; one of 
which generally celebrates heroes of the Arthurian 
cycle, while the other refers to persons and events of an 
earlier period, and it is not difficult to assign each tale 
to one or other of these two classes : — 
To the older class belong — 

The Tale of Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed. 

The Tale of Branwen, daughter of Llyr. 

The Tale of Manawyddan, the son of Llyr. 

The Tale of Math, son of Mathonwy. 

The Contention of Llud and Llevelys. 


The Story of Killiwch and Olwen. 

The Dream of Ehonabwy. 
To the second class belong — 

The Tale of the Lady of the Fountain. 

The Story of Peredur, son of Evrawc. 

The Story of Geraint, son of Erbin. 

The Dream of Macsen Guledig. 
Though the whole of these tales have been pub- 
lished under the title of Mabinogion, that name is 
applied in the Red Book solely to the first four, which 
form, in fact, one romance. The name of Arthur only 
occurs in the last two of this class, and it is in his ear- 
liest aspect. They are probably older than the Bruts 
as the substance of the tale called the Contention of Llud 
and Llevelys occurs in the earliest form of the Brut, 
and is omitted in the later. 

The tales included in the second class certainly 
belong to the full-blown Arthurian Romance. 

As early as the date of the Black Book of Caer- 
marthen, some of the Welsh traditions appear under 
the form of short triads, and that MS. contains a 
fragment of what were probably the earliest — the 
Triads of the Horses. A MS. in the Hengwrt col- 
lection, which has apparently been written as far back 
as the year 1300, contains two sets of triads, one 
termed Trioedd arhenic — Chief or excellent Triads 
which are religious ; and another, called Trioedd 
Arthur ae gwyr — Triads of Arthur and his warriors. 
And in the Red Book of Hergest are two sets of triads, 
one called Trioedd ynys Brydain, or Triads of the 


Island of Britain, which contain these Triads of Arthur, 
with many others ; and the other an enlarged edition 
of the Triads of the Horses. They are both published 
in the Myvyrian Archaeology (vol. ii. p. l); and to 
these may be added the Bonhed y Seint, or Gene- 
alogies of the Saints, which are usually found along 
with them. 

Such is a sketch of the literature of "Wales subse- 
quent to the twelfth century, of which we know some- 
thing of the history ; but a branch of its literature still 
remains to be noticed which has exercised a powerful 
influence upon the history of the country, the true 
source and history of which, however, is wrapped in 
obscurity and encompassed with doubt. 

One of the editors of the Myvyrian Archaeology, 
and a chief contributor of its contents, was Edward 
Williams, of Flimstone in Glamorgan. He maintained 
that there had existed at an early period, when bard- 
ism flourished as an institution of the country, four 
chairs or schools of bards, and that one of these chairs 
still remained — the chair of Glamorgan — of which he 
was himself the bardic president, and he adopted the 
bardic title of lolo Morgamvg. He declared that the 
succession of bards and bardic presidents could be 
traced back to 1300 ; that the traditions of bardism 
had been handed down by them in the chair of 
Glamorgan; that Llywelyn Sion, who was bardic 
president in 1580, and died in 1616, had reduced 
this system to writing under the title of the " Book of 
Bardism, or the Druidism of the Bards of the Isle of 


Britain," which he professed to have compiled from old 
books in the collection of MSS. at Raglan Castle. lolo 
Morgan wg published, in 1794, his Poems, Lyric and 
Pastoral, in which he gave to the world some account 
of this system, and a work which he had prepared for 
the press, termed Cyfrinach Beirdd ynys Prydain, in 
the Welsh language and from the MS. of Llywelyn 
Sion, was published after his death by his son in 1829, 
A further instalment, termed Barddas, was printed, 
with a translation, for the Welsh MS. Society in 1862. 

Among the contributions made by him to the 
documents printed in the Myvyrian Archaeology, were 
the so-called Historical Triads (vol. ii. p. 57) which 
have been so much founded upon in writing Welsh 
history, and the Triads called the Wisdom of Catoc 
(vol. iii. p. 1), and the Triads of the Bards of Britain 
and Institutes of the Bards of Dyfnwal Moelmud (vol. 
iii. pp. 199 and 283). A volume of documents pre- 
pared by him as an additional volume of the Myvy- 
rian Archaeology, was printed after his death, with a 
translation, for the Welsh MS. Society, in 1848, termed 
The lolo Manuscripts. 

But the most important document which issued from 
him, and which has exercised the greatest influence on 
the popular views of Welsh literature, was the prose 
tale or Mabinogi, termed Hanes Taliessin, and con- 
taining the so-called personal history of that bard. A 
fragment of the Welsh text was given in the first 
volume of the Myvyrian Archaeology; but the whole tale, 
wdth a translation, was published by Dr. Owen Pughe, 


in 1833, in the Cambrian Quarterly Magazine (vol. v. 
p. 198). In his introductory remarks lie states that the 
compiler, Hopkin Thomas Philip, wrote this piece about 
the year 1370. He lived in Morganwg or Glamor- 
gan. The same tale was published by Lady Charlotte 
Guest in 1849, in the third volume of her Mabinogion ; 
and she states that her copy was made up from two 
fragments — the one contained in a MS. of the library 
of the Welsh school in London, written in a modern 
hand, and dated in 1 758 ; the other from a MS. belong- 
ing to lolo Morganwg. The fragment in the Welsh 
school library was probably that printed in the 
Myvyrian Archaeology; and the MS. belonging to 
lolo Morganwg, that used by Dr. Owen Pughe, as 
the latter states in his introductory remarks, "Of 
the narrative part but one version exists." lolo 
Morganwg himself states that the romance entitled 
Hanes Taliessin — i.e. the history of Taliessin — was 
" written so late at least as the fourteenth, or rather 
the fifteenth, century," and that he used the expression 
fifteenth century in the loose sense of the century from 
1500 to 1600 is plain, as he likewise states that 
Hopkin Thomas Philip flourished about 1560. This is 
the same Hopkin Thomas Philip who. Dr. Owen Pughe 
says, wrote it about 1370 ; but there is no real differ- 
ence between them as to his true age, for in his 
Cambrian Biography, published in 1803, thirty years 
before. Dr. Owen Pughe, then Mr. William Owen, has 
the following : " Hopcin Thomas Phylip, a poet who 
flourished between a.d. 1590 and 1630." At that 


time, therefore, the compilation of the Hanes Taliessin 
was not placed further back than the end of the six- 
teenth or beginning of the seventeenth century. The 
prose narrative contains a number of poems stated to 
have been composed by Taliessin in connection with the 
events of his life, but these will be noticed when we 
come to deal with the poetry attributed to that bard. 

It is a peculiarity attaching to almost all of the 
documents which have emanated from the chair of 
Glamorgan, in other words, from lolo Morganwg, that 
they are not to be found in any of the Welsh MSS. 
contained in other collections, and that they must be ac- 
cepted on his authority alone. It is not unreasonable, 
therefore, to say that they must be viewed with some 
suspicion, and that very careful discrimination is 
required in the use of them. 




In order to discriminate between what is true and 
what is fabulous in the early history of Wales as 
presented to us in the historic literature subsequent to 
the twelfth century, and to disentangle the fragments 
of real history contained in them, so as to enable us to 
form something like a true conception of its leading 
features, it is necessary to test it by comparing it with 
the statements in contemporary authorities of other 
countries, and by referring to such earlier native 
documents as have come down to us. Of the latter 
class there are only three, and it is requisite that we 
should form a right conception of their authority. 
The first are the works of Gildas, who wrote in Latin. 
They are usually considered as consisting of two 
pieces, the Historia and the Epistola, but they may be 
viewed as forming one treatise. Questions have been 
raised upon the lives of Gildas, as to whether there 
was one or two persons of the name — an earlier and a 
later ; but, viewing the question in its literary aspect, 
it is of little consequence, for the treatise is evidently 
the work of one man, and there is evidence in the 
M^ork itself of his date. The writer states that he was 



born in the year in which the battle of Badon was 
fought, and that he wrote forty-four years after.* 
According to the oldest Welsh annals, the battle of 
Badon was fought in the year 516, which would place 
the composition of the treatise in the year 560 ; and 
the Irish annals record the death of Gildas in 570, ten 
years after. 

Only three MSS. of Gildas are known to have 
existed, and the oldest of these has since perished. 
It was in the Cottonian Library (Vit. A. vi.), but 
fortunately the text of Josseline's edition of Gildas in 
1568 was printed from it, and, according to Mr. 
Petrie, so correctly that it may be taken as represent- 
ing it.f The other two MSS. are in the public library 
at Cambridge (Dd, i. 17 and Ff, i. 27) — the one of 
the end of the fourteenth or beginning of fifteenth 
centuries, and the other of the thirteenth century. 
The first is said to have belonged to the monks of 
Glastonbury, and the second to the monks of Durham. 
This latter MS. inserts various passages which are 
not to be found in the other MSS. Thus the other 
MSS. mention that the Saxons were invited " superbo 
t3rranno," and the Durham MS. inserts the words 
" Gurthrigerno Britannorum duce." Again, where the 

* Bede understood this well-known passage as implying tliat the 
battle of Badon was fought forty-four years after the arrival of the 
Saxons ; but it is now generally admitted that this is a mistaken 
construction of the passage, and that the true import is as above, to 
which I also give my adhesion. 

t Josseline says it had belonged to Christ Church, Canterbury, 
and was 600 years old. 



other MSS. mention the " Obsessio Badonici montis," 
the Durham MS. inserts " qui prope Sabrinum ostium 
habetur." The work of Gildas had early found its way 
to the Northumbrian monks, as Bede evidently uses it 
in his history, and they are probably answerable for 
the additions contained in this MS. It has been 
remarked that the account given by Gildas of the 
departure of the Eomans from Britain, and the events 
which followed, are inconsistent with the statements of 
contemporary Greek and Roman authors; but this 
appears to me to arise solely from Gildas having 
misplaced the only document directly quoted by him, 
which has forced upon his narrative a chronology 
inconsistent with the true sequence of events, and 
which, unfortunately, has likewise influenced Bede's 
history. Gildas narrates two devastations by the 
Picts and Scots, after each of which they were driven 
back by the Roman troops ; then he states the final 
departure of the Roman army, followed by the occu- 
pation of the territory between the walls by the enemy. 
Then he quotes this document, which purports to be a 
letter by the Britons, addressed "Actio ter consuli," 
imploring assistance against the " Barhari, who drive 
them to the sea, while the sea throws them back on the 
Barhari. " He understands by these ' ' Barbari" the Picts 
and Scots, and places after this latter the invitation to 
the Saxons, who first drive back the Picts and then unite 
with them to subjugate the Britons. Now the exact date 
when this letter must have been written can be at- once 
ascertained, for Aetius was consul for the third time in 


446, and the dates of the other events have been fixed in 
accordance with this ; but while this postdates these 
events when compared with the other authorities, the 
sequence is the same, with the single exception of the 
place occupied by this letter. We know from Zosimus 
that the Roman army really left finally in 4 9. We see, 
from Constantius' Life of St. Germanius that the 
Saxons had already, in alliance with the Picts, 
attacked the Britons in 429 ; and Prosper, a contem- 
porary authority, tells us that in 441 " Britannise usque 
ad hoc tempus variis cladibus eventibusque latse, in 
ditionem Saxonum rediguntur." It is impossible 
to mistake this lano;uase. The Saxons must have 
completed their conquest six years before the letter 
was wiitten, and it follows that the " Barbari " to 
which it refers must have meant the Saxons, and that 
it was an appeal to the Romans to assist them against 
the Saxon invaders. The language of the letter, too, 
which seems exaggerated and inapplicable to the 
incursions of the Picts and Scots from the north, is 
much more natural if directed against the steady and 
permanent encroachment of the Saxons from the east. 
Take the letter from its present place, and place it 
after the narrative of the Saxons turning against the 
Britons and attacking them, and the order of events 
at once harmonises with the other authorities, while 
the necessity for postdating them in Gildas no longer 
exists. It was no doubt his misapprehending the 
meaning of this document, and misplacing it, which 
led to the arrival of the Saxons being supposed to have 


taken place after it, and to the date of 447, the 
succeeding year, being affixed to it by Bede. 

The second document is the work usually termed 
Nennius' History of the Britons, and it is very neces- 
sary that we should form a right conception of this 
work, and a correct estimate of its authority. The 
Origines, of Isidorus of Seville, who died in 636, and 
which must have been compiled some considerable time 
earlier, soon became widely known, and led to works 
being written in many countries upon their early 
history, in which the traditions of the people were 
engrafted upon it. Either in the same century, or 
the beginning of the next, a work was compiled in 
Britain, termed Historia Britonum. The author of it 
is unknown, but the original work appears to have been 
written in Welsh and translated into Latin. It seems 
to have acquired popularity at once, and become the 
basis upon which numerous additions were made from 
time to time. The original work appears to have be- 
longed more to the North than to Wales, or at least 
the latter part of it, as the events of that part are 
mainly connected with the North, and it terminates 
with the foundation of the Anglic kingdom of North- 
umbria by Ida. Soon after was added what is termed 
the Genealogia, being the descent of the Saxon kings 
of the different small kingdoms ; but here too North- 
umbria predominates, and most of the events men- 
tioned in it are connected with its history. It must 
have been compiled shortly after 738, as that is the 
latest date to which the history of any of the Saxon 


kingdoms is brought down ; and it too bears the 
marks of being a translation into Latin from Welsh. 
An edition of the Historia seems to have been made 
in 823, the fourth year of Mervyn Frych, king of Wales, 
by Marc the Anchorite, when that part at least of the 
text which contains portions of the life of Germanus, 
and probably the legend of St. Patrick, must have been 
inserted. Another edition in 858 bears the name of 
Nennius. The original work was very early attributed 
to Gildas, but latterly the whole work bore the name 
of Nennius. 

The oldest MSS. are of the tenth century, and are 
three in number. They represent two different editions 
of the work. The Vatican MS. bears the name of Marc 
the Anchorite, and contains the date of 946, and the 
fifth year of King Edmund. It is remarkable enough 
that this was the year in which that king conquered 
Cambria, and made it over to Malcolm, king of Scots. 
It would seem as if this conquest had brought it first 
under the notice of the Saxons, and this conjecture is 
further strengthened by the fact that the Paris MS. ex- 
actly corresponds with this, and that this MS. alone, of 
all the numerous MSS. which have cojne down to us, 
has the names of the Saxon kings in the Saxon and 
not in the AVelsh form. 

The MS. which represents the other edition is one 
in the British Museum (Harl. 3856). It contains in it 
the date of 796, but there are additions to it not found 
in any other MS., which must have been compiled in the 
year 977. These a,Ye,Jirst, a later chronicle of Welsh 


events, from the year 444, and though the last event re- 
corded is in 954, the " anni " have been written down to 
977; the second is a collection of Welsh genealogies, 
commencing with that of Owen, son of Howel dda, king 
of South Wales, who reigned from 946 to 985, — both in 
the paternal and maternal line, — from which we may 
infer that the writer was connected with South Wales. 
The Chronicle was made the basis of two much later 
chronicles, in which the events are brought down to 
1286 and 1288, and the whole have been edited under 
the name of Ajinales Camhrice, but the two later 
chronicles have in reality no claim to be incorporated 
with it, as the differences are not various readings of one 
text, but later additions. The great value of this 
Chronicle arises from the fact that it was compiled a 
century and a half before the Bruts were written, and 
it detracts from that value to add to it later additions 
taken from chronicles compiled as many years after 
the Bruts, and which are obviously derived from them. 
It is also the source from which many of the entries 
in the Welsh Brut y Saeson and Brut y Tywysogion 
have been translated. It is obvious that both the 
Chronicle and the Welsh genealogies were additions 
intended to illustrate the Genealogia attached to the 
Historia Britonum, and to bring the Welsh history 
down to the date of the compiler. The Chronicle in- 
serts the events in the Genealogia in the very words 
of the latter ; and when the Genealogia enumerates 
four Welsh kings as fighting against one of the kings 
of Bernicia, the Welsh genealogies give the pedigree 
of these four kinos in the same order. 


The Historia Britonum was translated into Irish 
by Giollacaomhan, an Irish Sennachy, who died in 
1072, and various Irish and Pictish additions were 
incorporated in the translation. 

The work, therefore, as it existed prior to the twelfth 
century, may be said to consist of six parts : Firsts 
The original nucleus of the work termed Historia 
Britonum; second, The Genealogia, added soon after 
738; third, The Memorabilia; fourth, The Legends 
of Bt. Germanus and of St. Patrick, added by Marc in 
823, the latter being merely attached to his edition, and 
incorporated in that of Nennius ; fifth, The Chronicle 
and the Welsh genealogies, added in 977; and, sixth, The 
Irish and Pictish additions, by Giollacaomhan.'"" The 
MSS. of Nennius amount to twenty-eight in number ; 
and of the later MSS. several seem to have been con- 
nected with Durham. To the monks of Durham many 
interpolations may be traced very similar to those 
in Gildas : in some MSS. they are written on the 
margin, and in others incorporated into the text. Thus, 
when the Mare Fresicum is mentioned, the Durham 
commentator adds, " quod inter nos Scotosque est." 
The result of my study of this work is to place its 
authority higher than is usually done ; and, used with 
care and with due regard to the alterations made from 

* The original work ■will be quoted under the title of the Historia 
Britonum, the second portion under that of the Genealogia, or both 
generally as Nennius, and the fifth as the Chronicle and Genealogies of 
977. The Irish Annals will be quoted from the Chronicles of the Picts 
and Scots, recently published, being the first of the series of Scottish 
Record publications. 


time to time, I believe it to contain a valuable sum- 
mary of early tradition, as well as fragments of real 
history, which are not to be found elsewhere. 

The third native authority prior to the twelfth 
century is Tlie Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales. 
They were published by the Record Commission of 
England in 1841, and the oldest of them, the Laws of 
Howel dda, are of the tenth century. 

Such are the native materials upon which, along 
with the old Roman and Saxon authorities, any at- 
tempt to grasp the leading features of the early history 
of Wales must be based. 




The state of Wales and the distribution of the Cymric 
population, between the termination of the Roman 
dominion and the sixth century, so far as we can 
gather it from these ancient authorities, does not 
accord with what we should expect from the ordinary 
conception of the history of that period, but contrasts 
in many respects strangely with it. 

We are accustomed to regard the Cymric popu- 
lation as occupying Britain south of the wall between 
the Tyne and the Solway ; as exposed to the incursions 
of the Picts and Scots from the country north of the 
wall, and inviting the Saxons to protect them from 
their ravages, who in turn take possession of the south 
of Britain, and drive the native population gradually 
back till they are confined to the mountainous region 
of Wales and to Cornwall. We should expect, there- 
fore, to find Wales the stronghold of the Cymiy and 
exclusively occupied by them ; the Saxons in the 
centre of Britain, and the country north of the wall 
between the Tyne and Solway surrendered to the 
barbaric tribes of the Picts and Scots. The picture 
presented to us, when we can first survey the platform 


of these contending races, is something very ditferent. 
We find the sea-board of Wales on the west in the 
occupation of the Givyddyl or Gael, and the Cymry 
confined to the eastern part of Wales only, and placed 
between them and the Saxons. A line drawn from 
Conway on the north to Swansea on the south would 
separate the two races of the Gwyddyl and the Cymry, 
on the west and on the east. In North Wales, the 
Cymry possessing Powys, with the Gwyddyl in Gwyn- 
ned and Mona or Anglesea; in South Wales, the Cymry 
possessing Gwent and Morgan wg, with the Gwyddyl 
in Dyfed ; and Brecknock occupied by the mysterious 
Brychan and his family. 

On the other hand, from the Dee and the Humber 
to the Firths of Forth and Clyde, we find the country 
almost entirely possessed by a Cymric population, 
where ultimately a powerful Cymric kingdom was 
formed ; but this great spread of the Cymric popula- 
tion to the north not entirely unbroken. On the north 
of the Sol way Firth, between the Nith and Lochryan, 
was Galloway with its Galwydel; in the centre the 
great wood, afterwards forming the forests of Ettrick 
and Selkirk and the district of Tweeddale, extending 
from the Ettrick to the range of the Pentland Hills, 
and north of that range, stretching to the river Carron, 
was the mysterious Manau Gododin with its Brithwyr. 
On the east coast, from the Tyne to the Esk, settle- 
ments of Saxons gradually encroaching on the Cymry. 

A very .shrewd and sound writer, the Rev. W. 
Basil Jones, now Archdeacon of York, struck with this 


strange distribution of the population in Wales, has, in 
his essay, Vestiges of the Gael in Gwynedd, revived a 
theory first suggested by Edward Lhuyd that the Gael 
preceded the Cymry in the occupation of the whole of 
Britain, and that these Gael in the western districts of 
Wales were the remains of the original population, seen, 
as it were, in the act of departing from the country before 
the presence of the Cymry ; but, though maintained 
with much ingenuity, it runs counter both to the 
traditions which indicate their presence and to the 
real probabilities of the case. Till the year 360 the 
Roman province extended to the northern wall which 
crossed the isthmus between the Forth and the Clyde, 
and the Cymric population was no doubt co-extensive ; 
but in that year barbarian tribes broke into the pro- 
vince, which the Roman authors tell us consisted of the 
Picts, Scots, and Saxons, and, though driven back, 
renewed their incursions from time to time. The 
Saxons, of course, made their descents on the east 
coast, and Gildas tells us that the Picts came ah 
aquilone, the Scots a circione, implying that they 
came from different directions ; while all authorities 
concur in making Ireland the head-quarters of the 
latter. The Saxons made their descents on the east 
coast, the Picts from the north, and the Scots from the 

Gildas tells us that the Picts finally occupied the 
country up to the southern wall pro indigenis, and 
settled down in the northern regions ; and Nennius, in 
his account of the arrival of the Scots in Ireland, adds 


four settlements of them in regionibus Britannioe, 
one of whicli lie expressly says was in Demetia, or 
South Wales, and terms the people expelled by 
Cunedda and his sons, Scotti. The Scots, therefore, 
probably effected a settlement on the west coast of 
Wales, as they did on that of Scotland; and these 
foreign settlements in the heart of the Cymric popu- 
lation of Wales and the North seem more probably to 
have been permanent deposits remaining from the 
frequent incursions of the so-called barbaric tribes on 
the Roman province, than vestiges of an original 

Relieved from the erroneous chronology applied by 
Bede to the events narrated by Gildas, into which he 
was led by the false place occupied by the letter to 
xletius, the statements of Gildas harmonise perfectly 
with the facts indicated by contemporary Roman and 
Greek authors. The barbaric tribes who broke into 
the province in 360 were driven back by Theodosius 
in 368, and the province restored to the northern 
wall. Then follows the usurpation of the title of 
Imperator by Maximus in 383, who takes the Roman 
troops over to Gaul. This is succeeded by the first 
devastatio by the Picts and Scots, when the Britons 
apply to the Romans for assistance. Stilicho sends 
a single legion, who drive them back and recon- 
struct the northern wall. Claudian records the de- 
feat of the barbarian tribes, which he names Picts, 
Scots, and Saxons, the fortifying the wall, and the 
return of the legion, whicli was recalled in 402. 


Then follows the second devastatio by the Picts and 
Scots, and the second appeal for assistance, and a 
larger force is sent, by whom they are again driven 
back. The Roman troops then elect Marcus, after 
him Gratian Municeps, and finally Constantino, as 
Imperator, who likewise passes over to Gaul with the 
troops in 409, after having repaired the southern wall. 
Then follows the third devastatio by the Picts and Scots, 
and Honorius writes to the cities of Britain that they 
must protect themselves. The Picts settle down in 
the region north of the wall, the Scots return to Ire- 
land, soon to reappear and again eflPect settlements on 
the western sea-board. The Saxons are appealed to 
for help, but unite with the Picts to attack the Britons, 
and finally bring the greater part of the country under 
their subjection in 441, and the Britons vainly appeal 
to Aetius for assistance in 446. 

Such is a rapid sketch of the events which brought 
about the destruction of the Roman province, when 
the statements of Gildas are brought into harmony 
with those of the classical writers, and which produced 
the relative position of the difi'erent races presented to 
us soon after the final departure of the Romans. 

Passing over the legends connected with Gortigern, 
as involving an inquiry into his real period and history, 
which has no direct bearing upon our immediate 
object, and would lead us beyond the limits of this 
sketch, the first event that emerges from the dark- 
ness which surrounds the British history at this 
period, and which influenced the relative position 


of the different races constituting its population, is the 
appearance of Cunedda, his retreat from the north, 
and the expulsion of the Gael from Wales by his 
descendants. We are told in the Historia Britonum 
that the Scots who occupied Dyfed and the neigh- 
bouring districts of Gower and Cedgueli " expulsi sunt a 
Cuneda et a filiis ejus ;" and in the Genealogia that 
" Maelcunus Magnus rex apud Brittones regnabat, 
id est, in regione Guenedote, quia atavus illius, id 
est, Cunedag, cum filiis suis, quorum numerus octo 
erat, venerat prius de parte sinistral!, id est, de regione 
que vocatur Manau Guotodin, centum quadraginta 
sex annis antequam Mailcun regnaret, et Scottos cum 
ingentissima clade expulerunt ab istis regionibus." 
As Mailcun was the first king to reign in Gwynedd 
after the Scots were driven out, and he was fom-th in 
descent from Cunedda, it is clear that the expression, 
that they were expelled " a Cuneda cum filiis ejus," 
is used somewhat loosely, and that the actual expulsion 
must have been effected by his descendants. In point 
of fact, we know from other documents that the real 
agent in the expulsion of the Scots from Gwynedd was 
Caswallawn Law Hir, the great-grandson of Cunedda 
and father of Mailcun. If four generations existed 
between Cunedda and Mailcun, this interval is well 
enough expressed by a period of 146 years; but an 
unfortunate date in the Chronicle of 977 has per- 
plexed the chronology of this period, and led to 
Cunedda being placed earlier than is necessary. 
The Chronicle has, under the year 547, " Mortali- 


tas magna in qua pausat Mailcun rex Gruenedote;" 
and if Mailcun died in 547, a period of 146 years 
from the beginning of his reign would take us back 
to the fourth century, and place Cunedda to- 
wards the end of it ; but we know from Gildas that 
Mailcun did not die in 547, as he was alive and 
rapidly rising to power when Gildas wrote in 560, and 
the date in the chronicle seems to be a purely arti- 
ficial date, produced by adding the period 146 years to 
the beginning of the century. Gildas mentions that 
Maglocunus or Mailcun had, some time previously, 
retired into a monastery, from whence he emerged not 
long before he wrote, and this is probably the true com- 
mencement of his reign. A period of 146 years prior 
to 560 brings us to 414 ; and some years before that 
must be considered the true era of the exodus of 
Cunedda, with his sons, from Manau Guotodin. It 
thus coincides very closely with the period of the occu- 
pation of territory between the walls by the Picts on 
the j&nal withdrawal of the Roman troops in 409. 

Cunedda is termed in all Welsh documents Gule- 
dig, a name derived from the word Gulad, a country, 
and signifying Ruler. The same term is applied to 
Maximus, who is called in Welsh documents, Maxim 
Guledig. It is therefore equivalent to the title and 
position of Imperator conferred upon him by the 
troops in Britain. After Maximus, and before the 
Roman troops left Britain, they elected three Impe- 
ratores, the last of whom, Constantine, withdrew the 
army to Gaul. We know from the Notitia Imperii 



that the Eoman legionary troops were mainly stationed 
at the Eoman wall and on the Saxon shore, to defend 
the province from inroads of the barbarian tribes ; and 
when the Eoman army was finally withdrawn, and 
Honorius wrote to the cities of Britain that they must 
defend themselves, the Eoman troops were probably 
replaced by native bodies of warriors, and the functions 
of the Eoman Imperator continued in the British 
Guledig. If this view be correct, the real fact con- 
veyed by Nennius' intimation, that Cunedda had left 
the regions in the north called Manau Guotodin 146 
years before the reign of Mailcun, is that in 410, on the 
Picts conquering the land up to the southern wall, the 
Guledig had withdrawn from the northern to within the 
southern waU. In the Welsh documents there is also 
frequent mention of the Gosgordd or retinue in connec- 
tion with the Guledig, which appears to have usually 
consisted of 300 horse. It was certainly a body of men 
specially employed in the defence of the borders, as the 
Triads of Arthur and his warriors — a document not 
subject to the same suspicion as the Historical Triads 
— mentions the " three Gosgordds of the passes of the 
island of Britain," and the Gosgordd mur or Gosgordd 
of the waU, is also mentioned in the poems. It seems to 
be equivalent to the body of 300 cavalry attached to 
the Eoman legion ; three times that number, or 900 
horse, forming the horse of the auxiliary troops attached 
to a legion. 

The next Guledig mentioned is the notice by 
Gildas, in a part of his narrative that indicates a time 

VOL. I. E 


somewhat later, that the Britons took arms " duce 
Ambrosio Auerliano," a man of Eoman descent 
whose relations had borne the purple. The term 
" Aurelianus " is Gildas' equivalent for Guledig, as he 
afterwards mentions Aurelius Conanus, and both are 
known in Welsh documents by the names of Emmrys 
Guledig and Cynan Guledig; and Ambrosius must 
have been connected by descent with prior " Impera- 
tores" created by the Roman troops. Gildas then 
adds that after this " nunc cives, nunc hostes, vince- 
bant usque ad annum obsessionis Badonici montis," 
and the date of this event is fixed by the chronicle 
attached to Nennius, which places it in the year 516, 
in which year Gildas was born. 

The period between the success of Ambrosius 
and the siege of Badon Hill is filled up in the 
Historia Britonum with the account of twelve 
battles fought by Arthur, of which that of Badon 
Hill is the last. In the oldest form of the text he 
is simply termed Arthur, and the title only of " dux 
bellorum " is given him. It says, " Tunc Arthur 
pugnabat contra illos {i.e, Saxones), in illis diebus 
cum regibus Britannorum, sed ipse dux erat bel- 
lorum." He was not "dux" or "rex Britannorum," 
but " dux beUorum," a title which plainly indi- 
cates the Guledig. That he bears here a very 
difierent character from the Arthur of romance is 
plain enough. That the latter was entirely a fictitious 
person is difficult to believe. There is always some 
substratum of truth on which the wildest legends are 


based, though it may be so disguised and perverted as 
hardly to be recognised ; and I do not hesitate to re- 
ceive the Arthur of Nennius as the historic Arthur, 
the events recorded of him being not only consistent 
with the history of the period, but connected with 
localities which can be identified, and with most of 
which his name is still associated. That the events 
here recorded of him are not mentioned in the Saxon 
Chronicle and other Saxon authorities, is capable of 
explanation. These authorities record the struggle 
between the Britons and the Saxons south of the 
Humber ; but there were settlements of Saxons in the 
north even at that early period,^'*" and it is with these 
settlements that the war narrated in the Historia 
Britonum apparently took place. 

The Historia Britonum records among the various 
bodies of Saxons who followed Hengist to Britain one 
led by his son Octa and his nephew Ebissa, to whom he 
promises " regiones que sunt in aquilone juxta murum 
qui vocatur Gual" — the name given by Nennius to the 
northern wall. They arrive with forty ships, and 
after ravaging the Orkneys and circumnavigating the 
Picts, they occupy " regiones plurimas usque ad con- 
finia Pictorum." The Harleian MS. inserts the words 
" ultra Frenessicum Mare," to which the Durham MSS. 
add, " quod inter nos Scotosque est," to show that the 

* I may refer the reader on this subject to my paper on the " Early 
Frisian Settlements in Scotland," printed in the Proceedings of the 
Society of Antiquaries (vol. iv. p. 169). For the struggle in the south, 
the reader cannot do better than refer to Dr. Guest's very able papers 
in the Archaological Journal. 


Firth of Forth is meant. That they may have had 
settlements beyond the Firth is very probable, but the 
regions next the wall, as far as the confines of the 
Picts, can mean nothing but the districts lying between 
the Forth and Clyde, through which the northern 
wall passes, as far as the river Forth, which formed 
at ^11 times the southern boundary of the kingdom of 
the Picts. These regions are nearly equivalent to the 
modem counties of Stirling and Dumbarton. All 
Welsh traditions connected with this war invariably 
designate Octa and Ebissa, or Eossa as they termed 
him, and their successors, as Arthur's opponents, and 
we shall see that the localities of his twelve battles, as 
recorded by Nennius, are all more or less connected 
with the districts in the vicinity of the northern 

The first battle was " in ostium fluminis quod 
dicitur Glein." There are two rivers of this name — 
one in Northumberland, mentioned by Bede as the 
river where Paulinus baptized the Angles in 627, and 
the other in Ayrshire. It rises in the mountains 
which separate that county from Lanarkshire, and falls 
into the Irvine in the parish of Loudoun. It is more 
probable that Arthur advanced into Scotland on the 
west, where he would pass through the friendly country 
peopled by the Cymry, than through Bemicia, already 
strongly occupied by bodies of Angles ; and it is at 
the mouth of the latter river, probably, that he first 
encountered his opponents. It accords better, too, 
with the order of his battles, for the second, third, 


fourth, and fifth, were " super aliud flumen quod 
dicitur Dubglas et est in regione Linnuis." Here 
must have been the first severe struggle, as four battles 
were fought on the same river, and here he must have 
penetrated the "regiones juxta murum," occupied 
by the Saxons. Dubglas is the name now called 
Douglas. There are many rivers and rivulets of this 
name in Scotland ; but none could be said to be " in 
regione Linnuis," except two rivers — the Upper and 
Lower Douglas, which fall into Loch Lomond, the one 
through Glen Douglas, the other at Inveruglas, and are 
both in the district of the Lennox, the Linnuis of Nen- 
nius. Here, no doubt, the great struggle took place, and 
the hill called Ben Arthur at the head of Loch Long, 
which towers over this district between the two 
rivers, perpetuates the name of Arthur in connection 
with it. 

The sixth battle was " super flumen quod vocatur 
Bassas."^^' There is now no river of this name in Scot- 
land, and it has been supposed to have been somewhere 
near the Bass Rock, the vicinity of which it is presumed 
may have given its name to some neighbouring stream. 
The name Bass, however, is also applied to a peculiar 
mound having the appearance of being artificial, 
which is formed near a river, though really formed by 
natural causes. There is one on the Ury river in 
Aberdeenshire termed the Bass of Inverury, and there 
are two on the bank of the Carron, now called Duni- 

* The printed text of the Vatican MS. of Nennius has " Lussas, 
but this is a mistake. Tlie original MS. reads " Bassas." 


pace, erroneously supposed to be formed from the 
Gaelic and Latin words Duni pads, or hills of peace, 
but the old form of which was Dunipais, the latter 
syllable being no doubt the same word Bass. Directly 
opposite, the river Bonny flows into the Carron, and 
on this river I am disposed to place the sixth battle. 

The seventh battle was " in silva Caledonis, id est, 
Cat Coit Celidon " — that is, the battle was so called, for 
Cat means a battle, and Coed Celyddon the Wood of 
Celyddon. This is the Nemus Caledonis that Merlin is 
said, in the Latin Vita Merlini, to have fled to after the 
battle of Ardderyth, and where, according to the tradition 
reported by Fordun (B. iii. c. xxvi.), he met Kentigem, 
and afterwards was slain by the shepherds of Meldredus, 
a regulus of the country on the banks of the Tweed, 
" prope oppidum Dunmeller." Local tradition places 
the scene of it in Tweeddale, where, in the parish of 
Drumelzier, anciently Dunmeller, in which the name 
of Meldredus is preserved, is shown the grave of 
Merlin. The upper part of the valley of the Tweed 
was once a great forest, of which the forests of Selkirk 
and Ettrick formed a part, and seems to have been 
known by the name of the Coed Celyddon. 

The eighth battle was "in Castello Guinnion." The 
word castellum implies a Eoman fort, and Guinnion is 
in Welsh an adjective formed from gwen, white. The 
Harleian MS. adds that Arthur carried into battle upon 
his shoulders an image of the Virgin Mary, and that the 
Pagani were put to flight and a great slaughter made 
of them by virtue of the Lord Jesus Christ and of Saint 


Mary his mother. Henry of Huntingdon, who like- 
wise gives this account, says the image was upon his 
shield ; and it has been well remarked that the Welsh 
ysgwyd is a shoulder and ysgwydd a shield, and that 
a Welsh original had been differently .translated. 
Another MS. adds that he likewise took into battle 
a cross he had brought from Jerusalem, and that the 
fragments are still preserved at Wedale. Wedale is 
a district watered by the rivers Gala and Heriot, cor- 
responding to the modern parish of Stow, anciently 
called the Stow in Wedale. The name Wedale means 
" The dale of woe," and that name having been given 
by the Saxons implies that they had experienced 
a great disaster here. The church of Stow being 
dedicated to St. Mary, while General Eoy places a 
Roman castellum not far from it, indicates very 
plainly that this was the scene of the battle. 

The ninth battle was " in urbe Leogis " according 
to the Vatican, " Legionis" according to the Harleian 
text. The former adds " qui Britannice Kairlium 
dicitur." It seems unlikely that a battle could have 
been fought at this time with the Saxons at either 
Caerleon on the Esk or Caerleon on the Dee, which is 
Chester ; and these towns Nennius terms in his list not 
Kaerlium or Kaerlion, but Kaer Legion. It is more 
probably some town in the north, and the Memorabi- 
lia of Nennius wiU afford some indication of the town 
intended. The first of his Memorabilia is " Stagnum 
Lumonoy," or Loch Lomond, and he adds " non vadit ex 
eo ad mare nisi unum flumen quod vocatur Leum " — 
that is the Leven. The Irish Nennius gives the name 


correctly Leamhuin, and tlie Ballimote text gives the 
name of the town, Cathraig in Leomhan (for Leam- 
han), the town on the Leven. This was Dumbarton, and 
the identification is confirmed by the Bruts, which place 
one of Arthur's battles at Alclyd, while his name has 
been preserved in a parliamentary record of David 
11. in 1367, which denominates Dumbarton "Castrum 

The tenth battle was "in littore fluminis quod 
vocatur Treuruit." There is much variety in the 
readings of this name, other MSS. reading it " Trath 
truiroit," or the shore of Truiroit; but the original 
Cymric form is given us in two of the poems in the 
Black Booh : it is in one Trywruid, and in the other 
Tratheu Trywruid. There is no known river bearing 
a name approaching to this. Tratheu, or shores, 
implies a sea-shore or sandy beach, and can only be 
applicable to a river having an estuary. An old 
description of Scotland, written in 1165 by one 
familiar with Welsh names, says that the river which 
divides the " regna Anglorum et Scottorum et currit 
juxta oppidum de Strivelin" was "Scottice vocata 
Froch, Britannice Werid!'"^'' This Welsh name for the 
Forth at Stirling has disappeared, but it closely 
resembles the last part of Nennius' name, and the 
difference between wruid, the last part of the name 

* Chronicle of the Picts and Scots, p, 1 36. — It may seem strange that 
I should assert that Gwryd and Forth are the same word. But Gicr in 
Welsh is represented by Fear in Irish, the old form of which was For, 
and final d in Welsh is in Irish ch, in Pictish th. The river which 
falls into the Dee near Bala, in North Wales, is called the Try-weryn, 
a very similar combination. 


Try-wruid, and Werid is trifling. The original form 
must have been Gwruid or Gwerid, the G disappearing 
in combination. If by the traetheu Try-wruid the Links 
of Forth are meant, and Stirling was the scene of this 
battle, the name of Arthur is also connected with it by 
tradition, for William of Worcester, in his Itinerary, 
says " Kex Arthurus custodiebat le round table in 
castro de Styrlyng aliter Snowdon West Castle." 

The eleventh battle was fought " in monte qui dici- 
tur Agned," — ^that is in Mynyd Agned, or Edinburgh, 
and here too the name is preserved in Sedes Arthuri 
or Arthur's Seat. This battle seems not to have been 
fought against the Saxons, for one MS. adds " Cathre- 
gonnum," and another " contra illos que nos Cathbreg- 
yon appellamus." They were probably Picts. 

The twelfth battle was " in Monte Badonis." This 
is evidently the " obsessio Montes Badonici" of Gil- 
das, and was fought in 516. It has been supposed to 
have been near Bath, but the resemblance of names 
seems alone to have led to this tradition. Tradition 
equally points to the northern Saxons as the opponents, 
and in Ossa CylleUaur, who is always named as 
Arthur's antagonist, there is no doubt that a leader of 
Octa and Ebissa's Saxons is intended ; while at this date 
no conflict between the Britons and the West Saxons 
could have taken place so far west as Bath. The 
scene of the battle near Bath was said to be on the 
Avon, which Layamon mentions as flowing past Badon 
Hill. But on the Avon, not far from Linlithgow, is a 
very remarkable hill, of considerable size, the top of 
which is strongly fortified with double ramparts, and 


past which the Avon flows. This hill is called Bouden 
Hill. Sibbald says, in his Account of Linlithgowshire 
in 1710 : — " On the Buden hill are to be seen the ves- 
tiges of an outer and inner camp. There is a great 
cairn of stones upon Lochcote hills over against Buden, 
and in the adjacent ground there have been found 
chests of stones with bones in them, but it is uncertain 
when or with whom the fight was." As this battle was 
the last of twelve which seem to have formed one 
series of campaigns, I venture to identify Bouden Hill 
with the Mons Badonicus. 

According to the view I have taken of the site of 
these battles, Arthur's course was first to advance 
through the Cymric country, on the west, till he came 
to the Glen where he encountered his opponents. He 
then invades the regions about the wall, occupied by 
the Saxons in the Lennox, where he defeats them in 
four battles. He advances along the Strath of the 
Carron as far as Dunipace, where, on the Bonny, 
his fifth battle is fought; and from thence marches 
south through Tweeddale, or the Wood of Celyddon, 
fighting a battle by the way, till he comes to the 
valley of the Gala, or Wedale, where he defeats ihe 
Saxons of the east coast. He then proceeds to master 
four great fortresses : first, Kaerlium, or Dumbarton ; 
next, Stirling, by defeating the enemy in the tratheu 
Tryweryd, or Carse of Stirling ; then Mynyd Agned, 
or Edinburgh, the great stronghold of the Picts, here 
called Cathhregion ; and, lastly, Boudon Hill, in the 
centre of the country, between these strongholds. 

The Bruts probably relate a fact, in which there is 


a basis of real history, when they state that he gave 
the districts he had wrested from the Saxons to 
three brothers — Urien, Llew, and Arawn. To Urien 
he gave Eeged, and the district intended by this 
name appears from a previous passage, where Arthur 
is said to have driven the Picts from Alclyde into 
" Mureif, a country which is otherwise termed Eeged," 
and that they took refuge there in Loch Lomond. 
Loch Lomond was therefore in it, and it must have 
been the district on the north side of the Eoman wall 
or Mur, from which it was called Mureif. To Llew he 
gave Lodoneis or Lothian. This district was partly 
occupied by the Picts whom Arthur had subdued at 
the battle of Mynyd Agned ; and this is the Lothus of 
the Scotch traditions, who was called King of the 
Picts, and whose daughter was the mother of Kenti- 
gern. And to Arawn he gave a district which they 
call Yscotlont or Prydyn, and which was probably the 
most northern parts of the conquered districts, at least 
as far as Stirling. 

In 537, twenty-one years after, the Chronicle 
of 977 records, "Gweith Camlan in qua Arthur et 
Medraut coruere ; " the battle of Camlan, in which 
Arthur and Medraut perished. This is the celebrated 
battle of Camlan, which figures so largely in the Ar- 
thurian romance, where Arthur was said to have 
been mortally wounded and carried to Avallon, that 
mysterious place ; but here he is simply recorded as 
having been killed in battle. It is surprising that 
historians should have endeavoured to place this battle 
in the south, as the same traditions, which encircle it 


with SO many fables, indicate very clearly who his an- 
tagonists were. Medraut or Modred was the son of that 
Llew to whom Arthur is said to have given Lothian, 
and who, as Lothus, King of the Picts, is invariably 
connected with that part of Scotland. His forces were 
Saxons, Picts, and Scots, the very races Arthur is said 
to have conquered in his Scotch campaigns. If it is 
to be viewed as a real battle at all, it assumes the 
appearance of an insurrection of the population of 
these conquered districts, under Medraut, the son of 
that Llew to whom one of them was given, and we 
must look for its site there. On the south bank of the 
Carron, in the very heart of these districts, are remains 
which have always been regarded as those of an import- 
ant Roman town, and to this the name of Camelon has 
long been attached. It has stronger claims than any 
other to be regarded as the Camlan where Arthur en- 
countered Medraut, with his Picts, Scots, and Saxons, 
and perished; and its claims are strengthened by the for- 
mer existence of another ancient building on the opposite 
side of the river — that singular monument, mentioned 
as far back as 1293 by the name of " Fumus Arthuri," 
and subsequently known by that of Arthur's O'on. 

In thus endeavouring to identify the localities of 
these events connected with the names of Cunedda 
and of Arthur, I do not mean to say that it is aU to 
be accepted as literal history, but as a legendary 
account of events which had assumed that shape as 
early as the seventh century, when the text of the 
Historia Britonum was first put together, and which 
are commemorated in local tradition. 





Gild AS, in his epistle, written probably from Armorica, 
draws a dark picture of the state of Britain. The 
colours may be overcharged and the lines deepened ; 
but, exaggerated though it may be by a Christian 
zeal, which may have driven him from the country, his 
language, if there is any reality in it at all, implies a 
great departure from the Christian faith, and a deep 
corruption of manners. The expressions which he em- 
ploys regarding the state of the princes of Wales are 
but an echo of what is used by other writers regarding 
the more northern Cymry. In the oldest life of Saint 
Kentigem, Llew, or Lothus as he is there called, whose 
daughter was his mother, is described as " vir semi- 
paganus ; " and Joceline, who used older documents, 
calls him " secta paganissimi,^' and describes the infant 
church, which had been founded shortly before at 
Glasgow by Kentigern, as being oppressed by "qui- 
dam tjrannus vocabulo Morken,'' that he " viri Dei 
vitam atque doctrinam sprevit atque despexit," and 
that after his death his " Cognati" obliged him to take 
refuge in Wales, where, under Caswallawn law Hir, 
the father of Maelgun, Kentigern founded the mon- 


astery of Llanelwy, or St. Asaph's. He also says of 
the Picts, " Picti vero prius per Sanctum Ninianum 
ex magna parte ; postea per Sanctos Kentegernum et 
Columbam fidem susceperunt ; dein in apostasiam 
lapsi, iterum per predicationem Sancti Kentegemi, non 
solum Picti, sed et Scoti, et populi innumeri in di- 
versis finibus Britanniae constituti, ad fidem con- 
versi vel in fide confirmati sunt." There is here 
indicated a wide-spread apostasy from the Christian 
church founded by Ninian, which drove Kentigern 
from Glasgow, and which, on his return from Wales, he 
was mainly instrumental in healing. His expulsion 
from Glasgow must have taken place between 540 and 
560, as he was a considerable time in Wales and re- 
turned in 573. It therefore closely followed the 
battle of Camlan. Arthur was pre-eminently a Chris- 
tian leader. The legends connected with the battle in 
which he carried the image of Saint Mary on his shield, 
and the cross he obtained from Jerusalem, indicate 
this. Medraut was the son of that " vir semipaganus" 
Llew or Loth, and his insurrection with his Pictish 
and Saxon allies seems like the outburst of a Pagan 
party. The arrival in 547, no long time after, of Ida, 
the Anglic king, and the consolidation of the Saxon 
settlements on the eastern sea-board of the north into 
the Anglic kingdom of Bernicia, stretching first from 
the southern wall to the Tweed, with Bamborough for 
its capital, and pushing its way north until it eventually 
reached the Firth of Forth, must have strengthened 
the increasing Paganism, both by the direct sub- 


jugation of Britisli and Pictish population by a Pagan 
king, but also by the insensible influence of the 
vicinity of a Pagan power. A struggle seems to have 
taken place between the Christian and Pagan ele- 
ments in the country, in which the latter at first pre- 
vailed, but which terminated in the triumph of the 
Christian party, and the consolidation of the various 
petty states into regular kingdoms under its leaders. 

Gildas, in his Epistle, addresses five kings by 
name, and of these he sufficiently indicates the locality 
of three. The first is Constantine, whom he terms " The 
tyrannical whelp of the unclean lioness of Damnonia^' 
(immundse lesenae Damnonise tyrannicus catulus), and 
who must have reigned in Devon and Cornwall. The 
second is Aurelius Conanus, whom he addresses as 
" Thou lion's whelp" (Catule leonine) . His title of Aure- 
lius is equivalent to Guledig. The third was Vortipore, 
whom he calls " Thou foolish tyrant of the Demetians" 
(tyrannus Demetarum), and who must have ruled over 
Dyfed and the regions in South Wales rescued from the 
Scots by Cunedda and his sons. The fourth was Cune- 
glase, whom he addresses as " Thou bear, thou rider and 
ruler of many, and guider of the chariot which is the 
receptacle of the bear" (urse multorum sessor aurigaque 
currus receptaculi ursi) ; and the fifth was Maglo- 
cunus, whom he calls " Thou dragon of the island" (in- 
sularis draco). This was Maelgun, who, we learn from 
the Genealogia, ruled in Gwynedd, and was called the 
Island Dragon, from Mona or Anglesea, from which 
his father Caswalla\\Ti law Hir had expelled the Gwyd- 


dyl. The two kings, whose possessions are not indi- 
cated, probably possessed the two eastern kingdoms 
of Powys and Gwent, and Conan, the former, as the 
genealogies attached to Nennius call Brochwail Powys, 
who fought in 613, son of Cynan or Conanus. 

It is plain, from the language of Gildas, that 
Maglocimus was one who swayed between Christianity 
and Paganism, and was rapidly rising into power over 
the other kings. He describes him as having "de- 
prived many tyrants as well of their kingdoms as of 
their lives," as " exceeding many in power," and " strong 
in arms," and that the King of kings had made him, as 
well in kingdom as in stature of body, higher than 
almost all the other chiefs of Britain. He also describes 
him as in the beginning of his youth oppressing with 
sword, spear, and fire, the king his uncle ; then 
repenting " and vowing himself before God a monk," 
and taking refuge "in the cells where saints repose;" 
and then being seduced by a crafty wolf out of the 
fold, and returning to evil, slaying his brother's son 
and marrying his widow ; and he concludes by an 
urgent appeal to him again to repent and be converted. 

There is a curious legend preserved in the old Welsh 
Laws. It is as follows : — 

After the taking of the crown and sceptre of London from 
the nation of the Cymry, and their expulsion from Lloegyr, they 
instituted an inquiry to see who of them should be supreme king. 
The place they appointed was on Traeth Maelgwn at Aber Dyvi, 
and thereto came the men of Gwynedd, the men of Powys, the 
men of South Wales, of Eeinwg, Morganwg, and of Seissyllwg. 
And there Maeldav the elder, son of Unhwch Unachen, chief of 



Moel Esgidion in Meirionydd, placed a chair composed of waxed 
wings under Maelgwn, so when the tide flowed no one was able 
to remain excepting Maelgwn because of his chair. And by that 
means Maelgwn became supreme king, with Aberfraw for his 
principal court, and the Jarll Mathraval, and the Jarll Dinevwr, 
and the Jarll Kaer Llion, subject to him, and his Word paramount 
over all, and his law paramount, and he not bound to observe 
their law. (P. 412.) 

The Dyvi or Dovey flows into the sea in Cardigan 
Bay, and terminates in an estuary which divides North 
from South Wales. On the north shore of the estuary 
rise the hills of Merioneth. On the south shore is an 
extensive and dreary moss, extending to the Cardigan 
hills in the background, and interspersed with a few 
green knolls rising here and there. Between this moss 
and the estuary is a flat sandy beach, left dry far into 
the estuary at low water. The moss is called Gors- 
fochno, the sandy shore Traeth Maelgwn; and here 
some transaction took place — some struggle hidden 
under the disguise of this fable — by which Maelgwn 
made himself supreme over the other three kings of 
Wales. This struggle, I take it, was the Gwaeih 
Gorsfochm), or the affair of Corsfochno, of the Bards. 

But the true field of the contest between the 
Christian and semi-pagan chiefs was further north, 
where the great struggle for the mastery took place 
not long after. The chronicle of 977 records, in 573, 
*' Bellum Armterid." About nine miles north of Carlisle, 
on the western bank of the river Esk, £ire two small 
rising grounds or knolls, called the Knows of Arthuret, 
and still further north is a ravine, in which a stream 

VOL. I. F 


called the Carwinelow falls into the Esk. On the 
north side of that stream the ground rises till it 
reaches an elevation terminating abruptly in a cliff 
which overhangs the river Liddel, and on the summit 
of this cliff is a magnificent native stronghold, with 
enormous earthen ramparts, now called the Moat of 

Arthuret is the Roddwyd Ardderyd, or Pass of 
Ardderyd, forming the great western pass leading from 
the Eoman wall into Scotland. Carwinelow is Caer 
Wendolew, or the city of Gwenddolew, so called from 
the adjacent stronghold; and here, in 573, was fought 
the great battle of Ardderyd,"^"" between Gwenddolew, 
whose name is surrounded by bardic tradition with 
every type and symbol of a semi-pagan cult, and on 
the other side three leading chiefs, who each became 
the founder of a kingdom — Maelgwn Gwynedd, 
Eydderch Hael, and Aedan, son of Gafran, called Fra- 
dawg, or the treacherous. The importance of this 
battle may be inferred from the part it plays in bardic 
tradition, from the exaggeration with which it is at- 
tended when 80,000 Cymry are said to have been 
engaged in it, and, historically, from the results which 
followed. Eydderch Hael established himself in Alclyde, 
or Dumbarton, as the first monarch of the kingdom of 
Cambria, or Strathclyde, embracing all the petty Cym- 
ric states from the Derwent to the Firth of Clyde, and 
recalled Kentigern from Wales to resume his ecclesias- 

* For these identifications, see notice of the site of the battle of 
Ardderyd, Proc. Ant. Soct. voL vi. p. 91. 


tical primacy over that region as Bishop of Glasgow ; 
and Aedan was solemnly inaugurated king of Dal- 
riada by St. Columba in the island of lona.'"' 

The establishment of these kingdoms seems to have 
terminated the functions of the Guledig, and more 
thoroughly separated the north, or Y Gogled, from 
Wales, or Gymru — Rydderch Hael being now the 
monarch of the one, and Maelgwn Gwynedd of the 
other ; but when we read in Bede of Aedan, the petty 
king of the small Scottish state of Dalriada, invading 
the kingdom of Bemicia in 603 at the head of an im- 
mense and mighty army, it is difficult to avoid the 
suspicion that he was for the time the Dux Bellorum, 
or Guledig, in the north, and had ranged under him 
the whole Celtic force of the country. Maelgwn, 
however, by this time must have been dead, the latest 
date assigned by any writer for the termination of his 
reign being 586. According to the Bruts he did not 
transmit his kingdom to his son, and the subsequent 
history, as given by Welsh authorities, is as follows : — 
Maelgwn was succeeded in the sovereignty of Britain 
by Caredig, and in Gwynedd, or North Wales, by lago, 
son of Beli, his great-grandson. Under Caredig, the 
Cymry were finally driven by the Saxons across the 

* I cannot help suspecting that the advantages held out by the 
ecclesiastics were the main cause of uniting these Celtic leaders against 
the paganism of the country. Columba certainly made Aedan the 
first independent king of Dalriada, Kentigem was closely leagued with 
Rydderch, and the Maeldav of the Welsh Laws was probably an ecclesias- 
tic who had undertaken to make Maelgwn supreme king of Wales by 
Bome stratagem cloaked under the fable of the floatiDg chair. 


Severn, and confined to Cornwall and Wales. lago was 
slain in 603 by Cadavael, and was succeeded in North 
Wales by his son Cad van, who joined Brochwel, Prince 
of Powis, and defeated Ethelfirth, king of Bemicia, on 
the banks of the Dee, in the year 607. Edwin, the 
son of Ella, had taken refuge with Cadvan, and was 
brought up along with his son Cadwallawn, who suc- 
ceeded his father in the same year that Edwin obtained 
the throne — that is in 617. Cadwallawn was, after 
two years, expelled from his throne by Edwin, who 
defeated him in a great battle, and driven to Ireland ; 
but after some years he obtained assistance from 
Salomon, king of Armorica, returned to Britain, 
and encountered Penda, king of Mercia, whom he 
defeated and took prisoner, but, having afterwards 
united with him, they jointly attacked Edwin, and 
defeated and slew him. During the reign of Oswald, 
Cadwallawn joined Penda in the war against him, which 
resulted in Oswald's defeat and death. He likewise 
took part in the war with his successor Oswy, when 
Penda was slain in 657, and died after a reign of forty- 
two years. This brings us to the year 659. Cadwaladyr 
succeeded him, and reigned twelve years, when the 
plague broke out in Britain, before which he fled to 
Armorica. The plague lasted eleven years, and these 
two periods bring us to the year 682. Cadwaladyr 
applies to Alan, king of Armorica, who sends his son 
Ivor, and his nephew Ynyr, with a large force, who 
carry on the war against the Saxons for twenty-eight 
years, while Cadwaladyr himself goes to Rome, where 


he dies. The date of his death is variously given in 
the Bruts as 12th May 687, 12th May 688, and 12th 
day before the kalends of May 689. It is necessary 
to give this narrative simply as we find it in the Bruts, 
without attempting to adjust it to the true history, as 
has been done in later authorities. The Brut y 
Brenhinoed terminates with the death of Cadwalad}^'. 
The Brut y Tywysogion states that Ivor carried on 
the war for fifty-eight years, and was succeeded in 
720 by Rodri Molwynog, son of Idwal Iwrch, son of 

This narrative will not stand the test of a comparison 
with older authorities, and the attempts to bring them 
more into harmony have not been very successful. 
The connecting links are of course the battles, which 
are likewise recorded by Bede. The first battle, or 
that fought with Brochwel on the banks of the Dee, is 
mentioned by Bede without the date being given, but 
both the Chronicle of 977 and the Irish Annals of 
Tighemac agree in assigning it to the year 613. It is 
plain, however, from Bede's narrative, that the Britons 
were not the victors, but were defeated, and the death 
of lago, son of Beli, is placed by both chronicles in 
the same year. The Welsh Chronicle records in 616 
the death of Ceretic, so that it is probable that a king 
of that name did succeed Maelgwn in the sovereignty 
over aU Wales. In the following year the Chronicle 
records, " Etguin incipit regnare," which likewise in- 
dicates the year of Cadwallawn's accession, who thus 
appears to have succeeded Ceretig in the sovereignty 


of Britain, while his father Cadvan had succeeded lago 
in 613 in the kingdom of Gwynedd, and his not hav- 
ing possessed the sovereignty of all Wales will account 
for his not being mentioned in the Chronicle. The 
Welsh Chronicle records, in 629, "Obsessio Catguol- 
launi regis in insula Glannauc," which may indicate 
the war between him and Edwyn. 

Bede narrates that, after a reign of seventeen years, 
Cadwalla, king of the Britons, rebelled against Edwin, 
being supported by Penda, a most warlike man of the 
royal race of the Mercians, and that a great battle 
was fought in the plain called Haethfelth, when Edwin 
was killed, on the 12th October 633, and all his army 
either slain or dispersed. This battle is called by 
Nennius "Bellum Meicen," in which he says Edwin and 
his sons were slain "ab exercitu Catguollauni regis 
Gwenedote regionis ; " and the Welsh Chronicle re- 
cords, in 630, " Gueith Meiceren et ibi interfectus est 
Etguin cum duobus filiis suis. CatguoUaun autum 
victor fuit." Tighernac places it in 631, and says 
that Edwin was slain " a Chon rege Britonum et 
Panta Saxano." 

Bede tells us that a great slaughter was made of 
the church or nation of the Northumbrians, and that 
Cadwalla ravaged the whole country for a long time. 
The kingdom of Deira had devolved upon Osric, son 
of Edwin's uncle Elfric, and the kingdom of Bernicia 
upon Eanfred, the son of Ethelfrid, who had, during 
Edwin's life, lived in banishment among the Picts or 
Scots, but Cadwalla slew them both, Osric the next 


summer, and Eanfred after Cadwalla had ruled over 
Northumberland for an entire year. Bede then tells 
us that after the death of his brother Eanfred, Oswald 
advanced with an army, small indeed in number, but 
strengthened by the faith of Christ, and that the 
" impious commander of the Britons " (infandus Bri- 
tonum dux) was slain, though he had most numerous 
forces, at a place called Denises -burn near the Roman 

It has been assumed that this " infandus Britonum 
dux" was the same Cadwalla who had defeated Edwin, 
and that theBruts misrepresent his history in continuing 
his reign through those of Oswald and Oswy when he 
was in reality slain in 634 ; but it is remarkable that 
while Bede names Cadwalla on every occasion when he 
has to record his previous acts, he does not do so here, 
but says simply that the " dux Britonum" was slain. 
Nennius calls this battle " Bellum Catscaul " — that is 
Cad ys guaul, the battle at the wall, and says the 
commander slain was " Catgublaun, rex Gwenedote 
regionis," while he calls Cadwalla, Catguollaun ; and 
Tighernac still further varies the name, for in 632 he 
records a battle by Cathlon, "in quo Oswalt mac Etal- 
fraith victor erat et Cathlon rex Britonum cecedit;" 
while he had named Cadwalla Chon in the previous 
year. There seems, therefore, some indication that 
the Cadwalla who defeated and slew Edwin, and the 
"dux Britonum" who was slain by Oswald, were 
different persons, and the probability is that the 
two kings — Cadvan king of Gwynedd, and Cadwallon 


king of Wales — reigned during some years together, 
that their real names approached each nearly in 
sound, and that it was Cadvan, the father, who was 
slain in 634, while the Bruts are in this instance not 
unworthy of credit in representing the reign of Cad- 
wallawn, the son, as lasting many years longer. There 
is every reason to beheve that he continued in success- 
ful hostility to the Angles at least as long as the war 
with Penda lasted, and the remark of Bede that the 
occupation of Northumbria by Cadwallawn was looked 
upon as so unhappy and hateful, that it had been agreed 
by all who have written about the reigns of kings to 
interdict the memory of those perfidious monarchs and 
to assign that year to the reign of the following king, 
Oswald, shows that there was a strong desire to suppress 
as much as possible the acts of Cadwallawn. It is 
therefore not unlikely that Cadwallawn assisted Penda 
in the war when Oswald was slain, and in the war 
between Oswy and Penda, in 655, when Penda was 
eventually slain. It is stated by Bede that Penda had 
thirty legions with him, led on by thirty commanders 
who had come to his assistance. Tighernac, in nar- 
rating the same event, calls them reges, and Nennius 
says that the "reges Britonum interfecti sunt, qui 
exierant cum rege Pantha in expeditione," but that 
" solus autem Catgabail rex Guenedote regionis cum 
exercitu evasit de nocte consurgens." That the Britons 
largely assisted in this war is therefore plain, and 
by Catgabail here probably Cadwallawn is meant. 
His death four years after, in 659, as stated by the 



Bruts, seems to me, therefore, quite in accordance with 

No such view, however, can be taken of the two 
subsequent reigns. In them, as stated by the Bruts, 
there are the obvious marks of fabrication. Cad- 
waladyr goes to Eome, where he dies on the 12th day 
before the kalends of May 689. Ceadwealla, king of 
the West Saxons — a Saxon by birth and descent — 
likewise goes to Rome, where he dies on the 20th of 
April 689 ; and the actions of Ivor, Cadwaladyr's 
successor on the throne of Wales, precisely correspond 
with those of Ina, Ceadwealla's successor on the 
throne of Wessex. There are, therefore, the obvious 
signs of artificial construction here, and the process 
seems to have been this : — The plague or pestilence 
before which Cadwaladyr is said to have fled to 
Armorica reaUy took place, as we learn from Bede 
and Tighemac, in 664, and it did not last for eleven, 
but for only one year ; and Nennius states explicitly 
that Cadwaladyr died in it. "Dxmi ipse (Osguid) 
regnabat venit mortalitas hominum, Catgualart reg- 
nante apud Britones post patrem suum et in ea 
periit." As Osguid or Oswy died in 670, there can 
be no doubt that the plague in 664 is meant; but in 
the Chronicle of 977, it is advanced nearly twenty 
years, and there we read, in 682 — "Mortalitas magna 
fuit in Britannia in qua Catgualart filius Catguol- 
laun obiit." When this chronicle is woven into still 
later chronicles, instead of " in qua Catgualart filius 
Catguollaun obiit," we read, " pro qua Catwaladir filius 


Catwallaun in Minorem Britanniam aufugit ; " and 
Geoffrey of Monmouth adds the pilgrimage to Rome, 
and his death there. 

The steps are plain enough. First, the plague and 
the death of Cadwaladyr in it, advanced from 664 
to 682 ; and secondly, the death denied, and Cad- 
waladyr said to have retired to Armorica ; and 
thirdly, the incident which really terminated the 
life of Ceadwealla of Wessex adopted and applied 
to that of Cadwaladyr. 

The motives which led to this fabrication are pro- 
bably the same with those which led to the consensus of 
English historians to suppress the acts of Cadwalla. 
Cadwallawn was evidently a powerful king, and had 
waged, in conjunction with Penda, a successful war 
against the Angles of Northumbria. For one year he 
had actually been in possession of the kingdom, and 
his successful career of upwards of twenty years must 
have raised the courage and the hopes of the Cymry 
to the highest. Then came the disaster of 655, when 
Oswy crushed the combination against him, when 
Penda and most of his British auxiliaries were slain, 
and Cadwallawn only escaped with his life, and died 
four years after. The result of this victory was that 
Oswy brought the Britons into subjection under him — 
a subjection which continued during his reign and 
that of his successor Ecfrid, till the latter was slain in 
the battle of Dunnichen in 686, and as, in the case 
of Northumbria, the year of Cadwalla's occupation 
was added to the reign of Oswald, so the twenty years 


of this subjection was added to the reign of Cad- 
waladyr. The fact that he had died in the pestilence 
was not altered, but the date of it was advanced from 
664 to 682 ; and, subsequently, the death was denied, 
and he was said to have retired to Armorica, whence 
the Cymry looked for him to return and re-establish 
the supremacy over the Angles lost by the disaster of 
655. When the battle of Dunnichen terminated this 
subjection, Bede records that, "NonuUa pars Britonum" 
— some but not all — ^recovered their liberty, and this 
part was the kingdom of the northern Britons of 
Cumbria, for the Chronicle of 977 records no king of 
Wales between the death of Cadwaladjo* in 664 and 
that of Eodri in 754, when it has the entry, " Kotri rex 
Britonum moritur," but during that period records the 
deaths of the kings of Strathclyde. In 722, "Beli filius 
Elfin moritur ;" and, in 750, " Teudubr filius Beli 
moritur." This interval was filled up by the fictitious 
reign of Ivor, the events of which were taken from 
those of Ina, the successor of Ceadwealla. 

Kotri, or, as he is usually termed, Rodri Molwynog, 
was the first real king of Wales after the death of Cad- 
waladyr ; and when the Chronicle of 9 l^l records, in 722, 
"Bellum Hehil apud Comuenses ; Gueith Gartmailauc; 
Cat Pencon apud dextrales Brittones et Brittones vic- 
tores fuerunt in istis tribus bellis," it probably narrates 
the successes which led to the termination of the sub- 
jection of the Britons to the Saxons, and the re- 
establishment of the Welsh kingdom in the person of 
Rodri. He died in 754, and was succeeded by his son 


Conan or Cynan Tindaethwy, whose death is recorded 
by the Welsh Chronicle in 816, "Cinan rex moritur," 
in whom the direct line of Cadwaladyr failed, and the 
marriage of his only daughter placed a new family 
on the throne. 

Her husband was Morvyn Frych, king of Manau ; 
or, as he is designated in the Cyvoesi, o dir Manau, 
from the land of Manau. 




The name of Manau was applied by the Welsh to the 
Isle of Man. Thus, in Nennius, " tres magnas insulas 
habet, quarum una vergit contra Armoricas et vocatur 
Inisgueith; secunda sita est in umbilico maris inter 
Hibemiam et Britanniam et vocatur nomen ejus Eu- 
bonia, id est, Manau." Thus the Latin form was Eu- 
bonia, the Cymric, Manau ; but it appears from Nennius 
that this name of Manau was also applied to a district 
in North Britain, when he says that Cunedda with his 
sons " venerat prius de parte sinistrali, id est, de regione 
que vocatur Manau Guotodin." 

The Irish name for the Isle of Man is Manand or 
Manann ; and it appears from the Irish Annals that a 
district on the north was likewise known by that name, 
as they record in 711 a slaughter of the Picts by the 
Saxons in Campo Manand, or the Plain of Manann, as 
distinguished from the island. It is, of course, difficult 
to discriminate between the two places, and to ascertain 
whether an event recorded as taking place in Manau 
or Manann belongs to the island or the district. Events 
which really belong to the one are often attributed to 
the other ; and the fact that there existed a district 


bearing this name, having become comparatively for- 
gotten, has led to the presumption in almost every case 
that the events recorded in connection with the word 
Manau or Manann belong to the island. It may help 
ns to discriminate between the two to refer to the 
legendary matter, both Irish and Welsh, connected 
with this name of Manau or Manann. 

From Manau in Welsh is formed the word 
Manawyd, and from Manawyd the personal name 
Manawydan. From Manann in Irish is formed the 
personal name Manannan. Manawydan in Welsh and 
Manannan in Irish are synonymous terms. In a 
curious tract in the Irish MS., termed the YeUow 
Book of Lecan, is the following account of the different 
persons bearing the name of Manannan : — 

There were four Manannans in it. It was not in the same 
time they were. 

Manandan mac Alloit, a Druid of the Tuath De Danann, 
and in the time of the Tuath De Danann was he. Oirbsen, 
indeed, was his proper name. It is he, that Manannan, 
who was in Arann, and it is of him it is called Eamain 
Abhlach.* And it was he that was killed in the battle of 
Cuilleann by Uilleann Abradhruadh, son of Caithir, son of Nuadad 
of the silver hand, in defending the sovereignty of Connaught. 
And when his grave was dug, it was there sprang forth Loch 

* The island of Arran in the Firth of Clyde, here called Eamhain 
Ablach, or Eamania of the Apple Trees. Eamain is said in Cormac's 
Glossary to be derived from Eomain, and that from Eo L rind, 
or breast-pin, and Muin i. hraige, or neck. This word Muin is re- 
presented in Welsh by Mynyw, as St. David's is called in Irish 
Cillemuine, in Welsh, Mynyw. I conjecture, therefore, that Arran 
being called Eamain is the Insula Minau or Mynyw mentioned in the 
life of Gildas. 


Oirbsen over the land, so that from him (is named) Loch Oirbsen. 
This was the first Manannan. 

Manannan mac Cirp, king of the Isles and of Manann, in the 
time of Conaire, son of Edersceoil, was he. And it was he made 
the espousal of Tuaide, daughter of Conall CoUamrach, the foster 
child of Conaire, and from him is named Tuagh Inbhir. 

Manannan mac Lir, i.e. a celebrated merchant was he between 
Erin, and Alban, and Manann, and a Druid was he also, and he 
was the best navigator that was frequenting Erin, and it was he 
used to know through science, by observing the sky, the period 
that the calm or the storm should continue, and of him the one 
Manannan nominabatur et ideo Scoti et Britones eum dominum 
maris vocaverunt et inde filium maris esse dixerunt ut deum et 
ideo adorabatur a gentibus ut deum quia transformat se in multis 
formis per gentilitatem. 

Manandan mac Atgnai was the fourth Manannan. He it was 
that came to avenge the children of Uisnech, and it was he that 
had sustained the children of Usnech in Alban, and they had con- 
quered what was from Manann northwards of Alban, and it was 
they that drove out the three sons of Gnathal, son of Morgann — 
viz. lathach, and Tuathach, and Mani Lamhgarbh — from these 
lands, for it was their father that had dominion of that country, 
and it was the children of Usnech that killed him. — {Yellow Book 
of Lecan, Trin. Coll. Dub. H. 2. 16.) 

An account of Manannan mac Llyr is found 
almost in the same words in Cormac's Glossary, and 
by other Irish traditions he is made the same person 
with Manannan mac AUoid, as in the following stanza 
in an old Irish poem : — 

Manannan, son of Lir, from the Lake, 

Fought many battles : 
Oirbsen was his name ; after hundreds 

Of victories, of death he died. 

Both of them belong to the mythic people termed 
in Irish traditions, Tuatha De Danann. The second 


people who are said to have colonised Ireland, 
according to the oldest traditions, which seem to 
have furnished the account in Nennius, were the 
Nemedians or children of Nemeid. They were driven 
out of Ireland by the pirates called the Fomoire. 
They left in three bodies, commanded by the three 
grandsons of Nemeid. Simon Breac, son of Starn, son 
of Nemeid, went to Thrace with his band, and from 
him descended the Firbolg; Jobaath, son of Jarbhainel, 
son of Nemeid, went to the north of Europe, and 
from him descended the Tuatha De Danann ; and 
Briotan Maol, the son of Fergus Leithdearg, son of 
Nemeid, went to Dovar and lardovar in Alban, and 
dwelt there with his posterity; and this colony is men- 
tioned in the Albanic Duan, where the Nemedians 
are said to have been the second people in Alban. The 
third colony in Ireland were the Firbolg, and the 
fourth the Tuatha De Danann, who came from the 
north of Europe to Alban, and remained seven years 
in Dovar and lardovar, whence they went to Ireland. 
There they found the Firbolg and drove them out, a 
part of whom, according to Irish tradition, passed over 
into Manann, Ili or Isla, Recra, and other islands. The 
Irish Nennius mentions this occupation of Manann and 
other islands by the Firbolg ; and it is obviously the 
same event which is stated in the Latin Nennius as 
one of the four settlements of Scots in Britain, " Builc 
autem cum suis tenuit Euboniam insulam et alias 

The only other Irish traditionary notices of 


Manann are that Cormac Ulfata, a king of Ireland, said 
to liave reigned in the third century, was so named 
from having banished the Uladh, or Picts of Ulster, 
from Ireland, and driven them to Manann ; and that 
an ancient Irish tract in the Book of Ballimote men- 
tions Seal balbh Ri Cruithentuaith acus Manaind — 
that is, king of Pictland in Alban and of Manann. 

According to Welsh traditions, Manawydan was 
the son of a British king called Llyr Lediaith. It is 
hardly possible to doubt the identity of the Manannan 
mac Llir of the Irish legends, and Manawydan ap 
Llyr of the Welsh, and the epithet Lediaith indicates 
that he was not of a people speaking a pure Cymric 
dialect. There are three very significant words which 
are applied in Welsh to indicate the mutual relation 
of languages. These are — Gyjiaith, where two tribes 
have a common speech ; Lediaith, or half-speech, where 
is a certain amount of deviation or dialectic difference ; 
and Anghyfiaith, the opposite of Cyfiaith, where the 
languages are considered as foreign to each other ; 
and the epithet of Llediaith indicates that Llyr be- 
longed to a race who spoke a peculiar dialect of Cymric. 
One of the kings in the list of shadowy monarchs 
of Britain contained in the Bruts is Llyr. He is the 
King Lear of Shakespeare, and the father of Gonorylla, 
Eagan, and Cordeylla ; but Creidylad, who is the same 
as Cordeylla, is by other traditions the daughter of Llud 
Law Ereint. There seems, therefore, to have been the 
same juggle between the names Llyr and Llud in the 
Welsh legends as between Lir and AUoit in the Irish. 

Cunedda is said in the Genealogia to have gone 
VOL L o 


with his sons from a regio in the north called Manau 
Guotodin, and in the Welsh genealogies attached to 
Nennins his eldest son Typipaun is said to have died 
" in regione que vocatur Manau Guodotin." 

According to the Bonhed y Saint there were three 
holy families of Britain. The second was the family of 
Cunedda. The third was that of Brychan. He is said to 
have been the son of Anllech or AuUech, a Gwyddelian, 
who married Marchell, daughter of Tewdwr, king of 
Garthmadrin, the region afterwards known by the 
name of Brecknock which took its name from Bry- 
chan, and to have had twenty-four sons and as many 
daughters. It has been supposed that there were 
more persons than one of the name, and the families 
of different Brychans have been combined by tradition 
in one ; but be this as it may, some of the sons are 
connected with Manau and several of the daughters 
with the Men of the North. Thus Ehun Dremrudd 
and Ehawin, two of the sons, are said to have been 
slain by the Saxons and Picts, and to have founded 
churches in Manau. Another son, Arthen, was buried 
in Manau, and Khun had a son Nevydd, who is said 
to have been a bishop in y Gogledd, where he was 
slain by the Saxons and Picts. Of the daughters, 
Nefyn was the wife of Cynvarch, and mother of Urien ; 
Gwawr was the wife of Eledyr Lydanwyn, and mother 
of Llywarch Hen ; Lleian was the wife of Gafran, and 
mother of Aeddan ; Nefydd was the wife of Tudwal, 
and a saint at Llech Celyddon in the north ; Gwrgon 
Goddeu was the wife of Cadrod Calchvynydd, and 
Gwen was the wife of Llyr Merini, and mother of 


Caradawc. These were all of tlie Givyr y Gogledd, or 
Men of the North, and Corth or Cymorth, another 
daughter, was wife of Brynach Wyddel, the father of 
Daronwy, and one of the Gwyddel of Gwynedd. In 
the Cognatio de Brachan, in the Cotton Library (Vesp. 
A. xiv.), the sepulchre of Brychan is said to be "in 
insula que vocata Enysbrachan que est juxta Manniam." 

Lastly, we have in a poem, which is not in either 
of the Four Books, but is placed by Stephens in the 
tenth century, mention of the Briihwyr du o Fanaw, 
or Black Brithwyr from Manau. 

That these notices of Manau or Manann in the 
Irish and Welsh legends do not all apply to the same 
place seems plain enough, and it remains to find a 
clue to disentangle them. That the second of the four 
Manannans belongs to the island, and the fourth to 
the region in Alban, seems obvious. The first and 
third, whether they are to be viewed as the same or 
different Manannans, equally belong to the legend of 
the Tuatha De Danann ; and as they occupied a 
district in Alban, it is probable that they are associated 
with both island and region. The Manann colonised 
by the Firbolg was certainly the island ; on the other 
hand, Cunedda came from the region in the north, 
and the family of Brychan, whose sons were slain in 
Manau by the Picts and Saxons, and whose daughters 
married Men of the North, also belongs to the region 
in the North. 

The clue seems to be that the island was associated 
with the name of the Scots, and the region with that 
of the Picts. Nennius includes the settlement of "Builc 


cum suis," or of the Firbolg, in Man and other islands, 
among the colonies of the Scots in Britain; and Orosius, 
who wrote in the fifth century, says that "Mevania 
insula a Scotorum gentibus habitatur." On the other 
hand, the Picts seem peculiarly connected with the 
region of Manau in the north. Cormac drove Picts 
of Ulster to Manann, and it is connected with the 
kingdom of Cruithentuath, or Pictland in Alban. 
Nennius calls the people whom Arthur defeated at 
MjTiyd Agned, or Edinburgh, Cath Bregion, and the 
Brithwyr are frequently mentioned in the poems. 
The words which form the root of these epithets are, 
BHth, forming in the feminine Braith, Diversicolor, 
Maculosus, and Brycli — the equivalent in Cymric of 
the Gaelic Breac — Macula. Both refer to the name 
Picti, or painted ; and Agned or Mynyd Agned pro- 
bably comes from an obsolete word, agneaw, to paint, 
agneaid, painted. It is singular enough that in the 
pedigree of Cunedda, given in the Welsh genealogies 
as 977, it is deduced from a certain Brithguein, grand- 
son of Aballec, son of Amelach, son of Beli Mawr, and 
the name of Brychan obviously comes from Brych. 

The history of this region, so far as we can trace 
it, will likewise show the connection of these painted 
men, or Picts, with it. The first event that seems 
founded on some historic truth is the battle fought at 
Mynyd Agned, by which the people called the Cath 
Bregion were defeated, and the establishment of Llew 
as ruler over Lothian. He is the Lothus of the 
legends of Saint Kentigern, and is said to have been 
buried near Dunpender Law, in East Lothian. His 


daughter Thenew, the mother of Kentigern, after an 
attempt to put her to death, in one legend on Dun- 
pender, in another on KepdufF, now KildufF, is cast 
adrift in a boat from Aberlady Bay. 

Some of the localities connected with this district 
also emerge in the legends of Saint Monenna or 
Darerca of Killsleibeculean, in Ulster, who is recorded 
by Tighernac as dying in the year 518. There are 
three lives of St. Monenna, but they do not differ 
much in the leading incidents of her life. She was 
born in Ireland, and associated eight virgins with 
her, and, according to all of the lives, a widow 
(una vidua), with her son Lugar. In Scotland, she 
founded, according to one life, a church in Gallo- 
way, called Chilnacase ; according to another life, 
three churches in Galloway; and the following churches 
on the summits of several mountains in Scotland, in 
honour of St. Michael : one " in cacumine montis qui 
appellatur Dundevenel;" another "in monte Dunbre- 
tan ; " a third " in Castello quod dicitur Strevelin ; " a 
fourth " in Dunedene que Anglica lingua dicitur Edine- 
burg," where she left five virgins ; and a fifth on the 
"Mons Dunpeledur." The first was on Dundonald 
in Ayrshire, near the mouth of the Irvine, into which 
the Glen flows, where Arthur's first battle was fought ; 
and the three next were on the three fortified rocks 
of Dumbarton, Stirling, and Edinburgh, where Arthur 
fought three of his battles ; while Dunpeledur, on 
which she founded another, is associated with Llew 
or Lothus, on whom Arthur bestowed the territory of 
Lothian. As Arthur was pre-eminently a Christian 


hero fighting against pagan Saxons and apostate 
Picts, these foundations appear to synchronise with 
the re-establishment of the Christian church there; 
and as one of Monenna's churches was on Dun- 
pender Law, it seems not improbable that Thenew, 
the mother of Kentigern, was, in point of fact, 
one of the virgins in that church. Kentigern must 
have been born about 518, which synchronises with 
the date of Monenna's death ; and one of her virgins, 
called Tannat, is said in one of the lives to have died 
three days after her. Monenna's church was in that 
part of Ulster called Dalaraidhe, and peopled by the 
Irish Picts ; and her foundations in Scotland being in 
Galloway and in the regions near Edinburgh, show 
that her mission mainly was to the Picts of Galloway 
and of Manann. 

The connection between the Picts of Ulster and 
the Picts of Manann, obscurely shadowed forth in 
the legendary expulsion of the Ultonians to Manann, 
by Cormac, king of Ireland, in the third centiuy, 
appears to have existed at this time. An old notice 
in some of the Irish MSS. states that Baedan, son 
of CairiU, king of Ulster, " cleared Manann of Galls 
or strangers, so that the sovereignty belonged to the 
Ultonians thenceforth, and the second year after his 
death the Gael abandoned Manann.""^" Baedan died, 
according to Tighernac, in 581. In 577, he records, 
"primum periculum Ulad an Baman;" and, in 578, 
" abreversio Ulad de Umania." The Annals of Ulster 
give these names as Eufania and Eumania. It has 

* Chron. Pictt and Scots, p. 127. 


been supposed that Eamania or Eaman, the old capital 
of Ulster, is meant ; but the expression " abreversio " 
could hardly be used with reference to a place within 
Ulster, and the Irish annalists were not likely to pervert 
the name of a place so celebrated as that of Eamania. 
These names Eumania and Eufania are more probably 
attempts to express the Latin name Eubonia, and to 
refer to Manann, and to the expedition by which 
Baedan cleared it of Galls. Two years after his death 
the Gael are said to have left it; and, in 583, Tigh- 
ernac records the battle of Manann by Aedan mac 
Gabran, king of Dalriada, which likewise appears in 
the old Welsh chronicle in 584 as "Bellum contra 
Euboniam." It was therefore a battle fought between 
Aedan and the people of Manann. 

The next event recorded in connection with Manann 
is the war between Penda with the aid of the Britons, and 
Oswy, in which the former was overthrown and slain, 
and the latter extended his dominion over the Britons, 
and wrested from the Picts a part of their " Provincia." 
Bede tells us that in a year which he does not specify, 
but which must have been after the year 653, Oswy 
was exposed to the fierce and intolerable eruptions of 
Penda, king of the Mercians, and promised to give him 
more and greater royal ornaments than can be imagined 
to purchase peace, provided the king would return 
home and cease to ravage and destroy the provinces of 
his kingdom; but that Penda refused to grant his 
request, and resolved to destroy and extirpate all his 
nation. Whereupon Oswy attacked him with a small 
army, though he had thirty legions led on by most skil- 


ful commanders, the Pagans were defeated and slain, 
the thirty royal commanders were almost all of them 
killed ; and he adds, " The battle was fought near the 
river Winwaed." The same transaction is narrated by 
the author of the Genealogia, but it is obvious that he 
is making use of two separate accounts ; for the second 
paragraph narrates what must have preceded the con- 
clusion of the first, and in the one the king of Mercia 
is called Pantha, and in the other Penda. By this 
account, the thirty commanders were kings of the Bri- 
tons, who go with Pantha on an expedition as far as 
the city of ludeu (usque in urbem que vocatur ludeu), 
and Oswy gave to Penda all the wealth that he 
had in the city, even into Manau (reddidit divitias 
cum eo in urbe, usque in Manau, Pendae), and Penda 
gave it to the British kings, and this was called Athret 
ludeu — the ransom of ludeu. Oswy then attacked 
Penda, and slew the thirty kings, Catgabail alone 
escaping, and this was the " Strages Gai Campi." The 
one is the Anglic account, the other is the Cymric. 
By the latter, Oswy bought ofi" the attack upon the city 
of ludeu, and the city itself, and the battle which fol- 
lowed must have been in or near Manau. The two 
accounts are not inconsistent, except in so far as Bede 
says that Penda refused the redemption-money, while 
the Welsh account says he took it and gave it to the 
British kings. Both agree that he was attacked, and 
the thirty commanders slain. Bede does not say where 
this happened, except that the battle was near the river 
Winwaed. The Welsh account says it was in the north, 
and is corroborated both by Florence of Worcester, who 


says that Penda invaded Bemicia, and by Tighemac, 
who says that he was accompanied by thirty kings. 
Bede does not expressly say that Penda was slain in 
that battle, but in the next section he adds that Oswy 
brought the war to a conclusion by his slaughter, " in 
regione Loidis," on the 15 th November in the thirteenth 
year of his reign, which represents in Bede the year 655 ; 
and the Chronicle of 977 implies that the two events 
were not the same, for it has in 656 " Strages Gai 
Campi,"and in the following year, 657, "Pantha occisio." 
This defeat was followed by the subjugation of the 
greater part of the Picts, who had probably aided Penda 
and Cadwalla, and not only Manau and Galwethia, or 
Galloway, became subject to Oswy, but apart of the 
" provincia Pictorum" on the north of the Firth of Forth. 
This subjection lasted for nearly thirty years, till the 
defeat of Ecfrid atDunnichen in 686 enabled the Picts 
to regain that part of their provincia which had been 
wrested from them. Manau and Galloway seem, 
however, to have been considered still part of the 
Anglic kingdom, and their Pictish population sub- 
ject to them, as we find the Angles establishing a 
Bishopric in GaUoway after 686, and the Picts of 
Manann or Manau obviously rebelling against them. 
In 698 Tighernac records a "battle between the 
Saxons and the Picts, in which the son of Bemith, 
who was called Brechtraig, was slain," and the Saxon 
Chronicle mentions the same transaction under the 
year 699, — " In this year the Picts slew Beorht, the 
alderman." He was probably their Saxon governor. 
In 711, Tighernac also records "the slaughter of the 


Picts on the plain of Manann (in campo Manand) 
by tlie Saxons, where Findgaine, the son of Deleroith, 
perished by immature death ; " and the Saxon Chron- 
icle thus records the same event in 710, — " In the same 
year the alderman Beorhtfrith fought against the Picts 
between Haefe and Caere." Florence of Worcester 
says that " Berhfrid, the prefect of King Osred, fought 
against and overcame the Picts." Here again, Beorht- 
frith appears as the Saxon Governor under the king 
of Northumberland, and the name of the leader of the 
Picts is also given as Findgaine, son of Deleroith. 
In the year 716, Osred, king of Northumberland, was 
slain ; and in recording this event, the Annals of Ulster 
add that Garnat, son of Deleroith, obviously of the 
same Pictish family of Manann, died. In 729 a great 
battle was fought between the army of Angus, king 
of the Picts, and the host of Nechtain ; and the 
annalist adds, that the " exactatores" of Nechtain fell 
— ^viz. Biceot son of Moneit, and his son, and Finguine 
son of Drostan, Ferot son of Finguine, and many others. 
This word " exactatores," or rather " exactores," was a 
word expressive of a Saxon officer, and was the Latin 
equivalent of " Gerefa," and the names show the con- 
nection of these leaders with the Picts of Manann, with 
whom the name of Finguine was especially connected. 
We have no further notice of Manann. It owes 
its separate existence, and its loose connection with 
the Anglic kingdom, to its inhabitants possessing a 
community of race with the powerful kingdom of the 
Picts north of the Forth ; and after the termination of 
that kingdom, when the name of Pict was merged in 


that of Scot, it too disappears as possessing any separate 
position from the other inhabitants of Lothian. 

It has been necessary to be thus minute in giving 
these notices of Manau or Manann as its history as a 
separate region in North Britain has, in fact, to be 
reconstructed, and it will enable us now better to 
determine its precise situation and extent. 

When the notices of the slaughter of the Picts in 
710 by the Irish annalists and the Saxon historians 
are compared, they give us the situation of the "Campus 
Manann " — a battle fought on it was " between Haefe 
and Caere." It is impossible here to mistake the rivers 
Avon and Carron, which flow within some miles of 
each other ; and the Avon rises in a moor called now 
Slamannan, and of old Slamannan Moor. This name 
is, in fact, Sliahhmannan, the moor or plain of Manann. 
Mynyd Agned, or Edinburgh, was in it, where the 
population of the region about it was called Cathre- 
gion. The Dovar and lardovar of the Irish legends 
formed the whole or part of it. Bede tells us that of 
the two firths of the sea, one of which runs in far and 
broad into the land of Britain from the Eastern Ocean 
and the other from the Western, though they do not 
reach so as to touch one another, the Eastern has in 
the midst of it the city Giudi (orientalis habet in 
medio sui urbem Giudi), the Western has on it, that is, 
on the right hand thereof, the city Alcluith, which in 
their language signifies the " rock Cluith," for it is close 
by the river of that name. Bede's city of Giudi is the 
same as Nennius' urbs Ivdeu, the G falling away in 
Welsh in combination, and in an old tract in the Book 


of Lecan ascribed to Angus the Culdee, who lived 
in the ninth century, Cuilennros or Cuboss is said to 
be between the Sliahhiochel, or range of the Ochils, 
and Muirn-Giudan, or the Sea of Giudan (Reeves' 
GuldeeSy p. 124), and we learn from Simeon of Dur- 
ham that the see of Lindisfarne, which marks the 
actual possessions of the Angles, extended to the river 
Esk, beyond which they only possessed settlements. 

Manau or Manann, therefore, in its widest sense 
included Slamannan, and the western frontier pro- 
ceeded in a line from thence to the Pentland Hills, so 
as to take in the great moor formerly called Caldover 
Moor, consisting of what is now the three parishes of 
West, Mid, and East Calder, and thus included that 
mountainous region forming the west part of Linlith- 
gowshire, embracing the parishes of Torphichen, Bath- 
gate, and Whitburn. It probably also included that part 
of the range of the Pentland Hills called of old Pentland 
Moor, till it came down upon the North Esk, which 
formed its eastern boundary to the sea. On the north- 
west there lay between it and the Carron the district 
of Calatria or Calathros, containing on the coast the 
parishes of Kinnell and Carriden, while from Carriden 
to the Esk the coast would belong to Manann. At 
the point now called the Queensferry, it approaches 
within a short distance of the opposite coast, and the 
name of Clackmannan on the northern shore indicates 
that that district likewise belonged to it. On some 
one of the islands in the Firth which lie between 
the mouth of the Esk and Carriden was the city of 
Giudi or ludeu, which may have been founded by 


the people Bede terms the Jutes, while the fortified 
rock of Mynyd Agned or Dunedin was the great 
stronghold of its Pictish inhabitants. 

Lying as this region did in the intermediate part 
of the country where the kingdoms of the Picts in the 
north, the Angles in the east, and the Cymry in the 
west, approached each other, and the Pictish, Anglic, 
and Cymric populations met, it could not but have 
had a mixed population. We see that an early 
colony of Saxons had obtained settlements in this 
part of the country. Arthur fought several of his 
battles against them within its limits ; and the king 
of Ulster cleared Manand of Galls. Here also dwelt 
the Picts of Lothian, known under the names of 
Brithwyr and of Caibregion. The former name comes 
from Brith, which in its primary sense means speckled 
or spotted ; but in its secondary sense mixed, and may 
indicate a mixed people. Bregion comes from Brych 
or Breac, and this word crops up here and there over 
the district. Falkirk was in Gaelic, Eglais Breac, and 
in Saxon, FahJcirJc, the spotted or brindled church ; 
Mynyd Agned, the Painted Mount; while Caldovar 
Moss is bounded on the west by the river Brych. 
When Medrawd, the son of Llew, rebelled against 
' Arthur, it was with a mixed army of Picts, Saxons, 
and Britons. 

From this region Cunedda went with his sons, and 
gave a royal house to the throne of Wales in the per- 
son of Maelgwn and his descendants. When this house 
failed in the person of Cynan Tyndathwy, there is 
every reason to believe that the same region gave a 


second royal house to Wales, in the person of Mervyn 
Frych, and that he came from the region of Manau, and 
not from the island. His epithet of Brych points to 
this. He was the son of Gwriad, who married Nest, 
daughter of Cadell Deyrnllug, Prince of Powys, and 
Gwriad is the same name as the Pictish Ferat. His 
pedigree is deduced from Dwywc, a son of Llywarch 
Hen, and Llywarch Hen was one of the Men of the 
North, and his mother was a daughter of Brychan. 
Mervyn is said in the Cyvoesi to be o dir Manau, 
from the region of Manau, and not o ynys Manau, 
from the island of Manau. This derivation of the 
kings of the house of Mervyn Frych explains a passage 
in a tract contained in the text of the Irish Nennius, 
preserved in the Book of Ballemote, but which is not to 
be found elsewhere. After stating the first departure 
of the Romans, this text proceeds to say that Sarran 
then assumed the sovereignty of Britain, and estab- 
lished his power over the Saxons and Picts. That his 
eldest son was Luirig, and that Mucertach mac Erca 
having taken his wife, she bore him four sons, two of 
whom were Constantine and Gaidel Ficht, from whom 
descended the provincial kings of Britain and the 
kings of Cornwall.'" This legend seems to apply to 
Manann, and if the house of Mervyn Frych sprang 
from its mixed population, we can understand in what 
sense the kings of Wales and Cornwall were said to be 
descended from Gaidel Ficht. Mervyn Frych married 
Essyllt, the daughter of Cynan, the last king of the 
house of Maelgwn Gwynedd, and inherited Powys 

* Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 54. 



through his mother, and acquired Gwynedd through 
his wife. His death is recorded in 844, so that he 
died in the very year that the kingdom of the Scots 
superseded that of the Picts, when all the old land- 
marks of the North British districts were changed, and 
the memory of Manau Gododin, as a region in the 
north distinct from the island of Manau, passed away 
for ever. Mervyn Frych was succeeded by his son 
Rodri Mawr, who acquired South Wales through his 
wife, and thus became king of all Wales. He divided 
Wales into three petty kingdoms among his three sons 
— Anaraut, Cadell, and Mervyn — the eldest, Anaraut, 
obtaining Gwynedd, with Aberfraw in Anglesea as 
his capital ; Cadell, South Wales, with Dynevor for his 
capital; and Mervyn, Powis, with Mathraval for his 
capital ; and the king of Gwynedd was to be supreme 
over the other two. He was succeeded by his eldest 
son Anarawd, who died in 913, and he by his son 
Edwal foel, after which Howel dda, son of Cadell, king 
of South Wales, obtained the dominion of the whole 
of Wales, from 940 to his death in 948. After his 
death a struggle commenced between the descendants 
of Edwal foel and of Howel dda for supremacy in 
Wales till the year 1000, when the sovereignty was 
usurped by Aeddan ap Blegwred, and a period of 
confusion ensued both in North and South Wales, 
during which Cynan, the rightful heir of North 
Wales, took refuge in Ireland, and Rhys, the rightful 
heir of South Wales, in Armorica, and which was only 
terminated when Rhys ap Tewdwr succeeded in estab- 
lishing himself in South Wales, in the year 1077, 


and Gruflfudli, the son of Cynan, in North Wales, in 

The kingdom of South Wales soon came to an 
end, in consequence of Jestin, the Lord of Glamorgan, 
having called in the assistance of Robert Fitzhamon, a 
Norman knight. Rhys ap Tewdwr was defeated in 
battle and slain by him in 1090, and, according to the 
Brut y Tywysogion, " then fell the kingdom of the 
Britons," and Robert Fitzhamon, with his Norman 
knights, took possession of Glamorgan, and " the 
French came into Djnied and Ceredigion, which they 
have still retained, and fortified the castles, and seized 
upon all the land of the Britons." This was true of 
South Wales only, as in North Wales the native 
princes still ruled till the year 1282, when the death 
of Llywelyn, the last prince of North Wales, was fol- 
lowed by the subjugation of all Wales by King 
Edward the First. 

Rhys ap Tewdwr had an only daughter, Nest, who 
had a son by King Henry the First, Robert, Earl of 
Gloucester. By marriage with the daughter of 
Robert Fitzhamon, he succeeded to all his possessions 
in South Wales ; and, as the son of Nest, the only 
daughter of Rhys, was regarded by the Welsh as 
representing in some degree the princes of South 
Wales. He died in the year 1147. 




Such being the aspect in which, the leading features 
of the history of the Celtic population of Britain is 
presented to us, on a careful analysis of the authori- 
ties, it remains to inquire what they teU us of the 
mutual relation of the races of which it was com- 
posed, and of the true place of the Picts among them. 
In human beings the recollections of infancy are the 
most vivid and tenacious, and every change of circum- 
stance or of place in early years impresses itself with 
an indelible mark on the memory, so that, while the 
recollections of middle life become faint and dim with 
advancing years, those of the nursery stiU stand out in 
the background with a clear and distinct light, and 
can be produced in all their original vividness. In 
like manner with races of men in an early stage of 
their social condition, the events of the infancy of the 
race, its migrations and settlements, seem to be in- 
delibly impressed on the national memory, are the 
subject of songs and baUads, and become interwoven 
into such oral literature as they possess, while their 
history, after they become a settled people, may be- 
come to them a dreary blank, tiU the progress of civil- 

VOL. I. H 


isation and society creates sometliing like national 
annals among them. 

Such ethnological traditions, however, in time lose 
the form of simple narrative, and assume a mythic 
and symbolic shape, which, though bearing the out- 
ward semblance of fable, still preserve the recollection 
of real ethnological fact. This mythic and symbolic 
form of the early ethnological traditions of the various 
tribes which form the population of the country, usually 
presents itself in two different aspects, according as 
the one idea or the other prevailed. According to 
Jhe one, these tribes were a series of colonies arriving 
in the country at different times, and succeeding each 
other as occupants of the land, and their migrations 
from some distant land, in which some fancied re- 
semblance in name or customs had fixed their origin, 
are minutely detailed. According to the other, each 
race is represented by an eponymus, or supposed 
common ancestor, bearing a name derived from that 
of the people, and the several eponymi representing 
the population of the country are connected in an 
ethnological genealogy, in which they appear as 
fathers, brothers, or cousins, according to their sup- 
posed relation to each other. We have a classical 
instance of this in the Greek traditions, where Hellen, 
the eponymus of the Hellenes, is father of ^olus, 
Dorus, and Xuthus, and the latter of Achseus and 
lonus, while the jEolians and Dorians appear in other 
traditions as successively overrunning the country. 
In Britain we have the same twofold myth; Brutus, 


the eponymus of the Britons, being, in the Bruts, 
father of Camber Locrinus and Albanactus, while, in 
the Triads, the Kymri, the Lloegri, and the Brjrthon, 
are successive colonies which entered the country from 
different lands. It does not follow that, in the one 
case, the relationship was other than a geographical 
one, or, in the other, that the tribes were really of 
different origin, or inhabited the country at different 
times. These are but the adventitious, mythic, or sym- 
bolic forms, in which real ethnological relations had 
clothed themselves, under the operation of definite laws. 

The earliest record of such ethnological traditions 
connected with the British Isles is probably to be found 
in the Historia Britonum. In it the ethnological tradi- 
tions are given in both shapes. In that in which they 
were symbolised by a genealogy, and which is certainly 
part of the original tract, the author states as his source 
*' veteres libri veterum nostrorum," and concludes the 
chapter by stating, " Hanc peritiam inveni ex tra- 
ditione veterum, qui incolae in primo fuerunt Bri- 
tanniee." In this genealogy he says, " Hessitio autem 
habuit filios quatuor, hi sunt, Francus, Komanus, Britto, 
Alhanus. . . . Ab Hesitione autem ortse sunt qua- 
tuor gentes, Franci, Latini, A Ibani, et Britti." 

In the Albanic Duan, which seems to have belonged 
to some collection of additions to Nennius, and which 
contains the oldest record of the ethnological traditions 
of Scotland, the brothers Brittus and Albanus appear 
as the eponymi of the two Celtic races inhabiting re- 
spectively Britain and Alban, or Scotland. Thus — 


" 0, all ye learned of Alban, 
Ye well-skilled host of yellow hair, 
Wliat was the first invasion ? Is it known to you 1 
Which took the land of Alban 1 
Alhanus possessed it ; numerous his hosts. 
He was the illustrious son of Isacon. 
He and Briutus were brothers without deceit. 
From liim Alban of ships has its name. 
Briutus banished his active brother 
Across the stormy sea of Icht. 
Briutus possessed the noble Alban 
As far as the conspicuous promontory of Fothudain."* 

Here the two brothers, Brittus and Albanus, 
appear, and the latter is the eponymus of the inhabit- 
ants of Alban or Scotland, while the tradition of the 
retreat of the race of the one before that of the other 
seems to be preserved. 

What races, then, were typified by the brothers 
Brittus and Albanus ? A passage in one of the old 
poems preserved in the Book of Taliessin indicates this 
very clearly. The Historia had given us three of the 
sons of Hessitio — Eomanus, Brittus, and Albanus; the 
brotherhood in such a genealogy impl3dng no more 
than their mutual presence in the same country ; and 
in the poem referred to there is an obvious reference 
to the same tradition — 

" Three races, wrathful, of right qualities : 
Gwyddyl and Brython and Eomani, 
Create war and tumult." 

* Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 57. — The Irish /is the digamirva placed 
before an initial vowel ; and the word i^othudain seems to express 
Ptolemy's Ottadeni, who extended to the river Eden in Fife. The pro- 
montory of Fife, called Fifeness, is probably the promontory meant. 


Here the Romani and Brython represent Romanus 
and Brittus, and Gwyddyl conies in place of Albanus. 

This term Gwyddyl, though latterly used by the 
Welsh as synonymous with Irish, was formerly applied 
to the whole Gaelic race as distinguished from the 
Cymric. This is apparent from another poem in the 
Book of Taliessin, where the Celtic inhabitants of the 
British Isles are thus enumerated : — 

" Let us make great rejoicing after exhaustion, 
And the reconciliation of the Cymry and men of Dublin, 
The Gwyddyl of Iwerdon, Mon, and Prydyn, 
The Comishmen and the Clydemen." 

Here the Cymry of Wales and the Britons of Cornwall 
and Strathclyde are contrasted with the Gwyddyl of 
Ireland, Anglesea, and Scotland ; in short, the Gaelic 
race in its fuU extension at that period, including 
Prydyn, or North Britain, and Mona, or Anglesea, as 
weU as Ireland. To which of these two races then 
did the Picts belong, and was their language identical 
either with the Cymric or the Gaelic, or, if it was a 
different dialect, to which did it approach nearest ? 

Among the additions made to the Historia Bri- 
tonum, some Pictish traditions seem to have been 
attached to it as early as the year 796 ; and these are 
preserved partly in the Irish translation of Nennius, and 
partly in the first part of the old chronicle in the Colbert- 
ine MS. usually called the Pictish Chronicle, and which 
bears evident marks of having been formed from 
such additions to the Historia. This chronicle con- 
tains a very important addition to the statement in the 


Historia. The Historia had said that Brittus and 
Albanus were brothers, and sons of Hessitio, and that 
from them proceeded the nations of the Britti and the 
Albani. The Pictish Chronicle adds, after quoting a 
passage from Isidorus giving the etymology of the 
name Albani, " de quibus originem duxerunt Scoti et 
Picti ;"* that is, that both Scots and Picts belonged 
,to the race of which Albanus was the eponymus. 

Now the testimony of the entire literature of 
Wales is to the fact that the Picts belonged to the 
race of the Gwyddyl, and not to the Cymric race. To 
take, first, the perhaps doubtful authority of the 
Triads, in which the ethnology of the inhabitants of 
Britain is conveyed under the form of successive 
colonies, or invasions, they are thus represented : 
" Three social tribes of the Isle of Britain — the nation 
(cenedl) of the Kymry, the race (at) of the Lloegrwys 
and the Brython — and these are said to be descended 
from the original nation of the Cymry, and to be of 
the same language and speech. Three refuge-seeking 
tribes that came to the Isle of Britain — the tribe of 
Celyddon yn y Gogled, the race {at) of the Gwyddyl 
that are in Alban, and the men of Galedin. Three 
invading tribes that came to the Isle of Britain — ^the 
Coraniaid, the Gwyddyl Ffichti who came to Alban 
by the sea of Llychlyn, and the Saeson ; " and it is 
added that the Gwyddyl Ffichti " are in Alban, on the 
shore of the sea of Llyddyn." "Three treacherous 
invasions of the Isle of Britain — the Gwyddyl Coch 

* Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 393. 


or Iwerddon, who came into Alban; the men of 
Llychlyn, and the Saesons." Here it will be observed 
that three tribes only are brought to Alban, and all 
three are said to have remained in it, and all are 
said to be Gwyddyl or Gael, These are, first, 
the race of the Gwyddyl generally ; secondly, the 
red Gwyddyl from Ireland ; and thirdly, the Ffichti 
Gwyddyl. The red Gwyddyl are obviously the Gaelic 
Scots, who came from Ireland in the year 503, and 
settled in Dalriada or Argyll. The Gwyddyl Ffichti 
have been usually translated the Irish Picts, from 
the word Gwyddyl having been latterly used as 
synonymous with Irishman ; and a very disingenuous 
use of this has been made by Mr. Herbert in his notes 
to the Irish Nennius ; but the translation is erroneous, 
for the word Gwyddyl was at that time a name of race, 
and not a geographical term, and was applied to the 
whole Gaelic race ; and, moreover, it is not an adjec- 
tive, but a substantive ; Gwyddyl Ffichti meaning the 
Ffichti or Pictish Gwyddyl, just as Gwyddyl Coch means 
the red Gwyddyl. That by these Ffichti Gwyddyl, the 
Picts of the Pictish kingdom in Scotland are meant, 
and not Irish Picts (in the sense of Picts dwelling in 
or emigrating from Ireland), is plain ; for in the Triad 
they are said to have crossed the sea of Llychlyn, or 
German Ocean, to Alban or Scotland, and to dwell in 
Alban along the shore of the German Ocean. That it 
was applied to the Picts forming the great Pictish 
kingdom of Scotland, is also clear from the Bruts 
compared with each other and with the Irish annalist 


Tighernac. In the year 750 a great battle was fought 
between the Britons of Strathclyde and the Picts of 
Scotland, at a place called by the Welsh chronicles 
Magedanc or Maesedauc, now Mugdoch, in Dum- 
bartonshire, the ancient seat of the Earls of Lennox, 
which is thus described by Tighernac : "A battle 
between the Pictones and the Britones — viz. Talorgan, 
the son of Fergus, and his brother, and the slaughter 
of the Piccardach with him." In the Brut y Tywyso- 
gion it is thus given : — " The action of Mygedawc, in 
which the Britons conquered the Gwydyl Ffichti after 
a bloody battle." Talorgan, who commanded them, 
was brother of Angus Mac Fergus, king of Fortren, 
or the Picts of Scotland, and they are here termed 
Gwyddyl Ffichti. Although the authority of the 
Triads is not unexceptionable, it is confirmed by the 
more authentic Triads of Arthur and his warriors, 
where " three tribes came into this island and did not 
again go out of it," and the second is "the tribe of 
the Gwyddyl Ffichti." 

The statement here given of that form of the tradi- 
tion which represents the ethnology of the inhabitants 
of North Britain under the form of successive colonies, 
so exactly accords with what we find in other state- 
ments of it as to leave little doubt that it is a faithful 
representation of this form of the tradition; and its 
harmony with the older statement of the other form of 
it in the Historia Britonum is apparent. In the one we 
have Albanus, the eponymus of the Gwyddyl, called 
the brother of Brittus, and progenitor of the Albani 


from whom the Picti and Scoti took their origin. In 
the other we have the race of the Gwyddyl in Alban, 
and the successive colonies in Alban after them, the 
Gwyddyl Ffichti from Llychlyn, and the Gwyddyl 
Coch from Iwerdon or Ireland ; the former being, as 
shown by the Brut y Tywysogion, the Picts of Scot- 
land, and the latter the Scots of Dalriada. 

The legend of the origin of the Picts, as contained 
in the Bruts, is that they came from Scythia and 
settled in Alban ; that they asked wives of the 
Britons and were refused, and then married wives of 
the Gwyddyl. The text of the Brut in the Eed Book 
of Hergest adds, " And their children and oflfspring 
increased, and the people multiplied. This people are 
the Givyddyl Ffichti, and it is thus they came and 
were first continued in this island, and to this day 
have remained without going from it." Another text 
in one of the Hengwrt MSS. adds, " And thus arose 
this people ; and this people were called Gwyddyl 
Fficlitieit, and this is the reason that they were called 
Gwyddyl Ffichtieit ; and they are still a tribe among 
the Britons. "^^ The tale that they were refused wives 
of the Britons and married wives of the Gwyddyl 
certainly implies that the Welsh considered that they 
did not speak a Cymric but a Gaelic dialect, for the 
legend is based upon the idea that the spoken lan- 
guage of a people was derived from their mothers, 
and is conveyed in the popular expression, the mother- 
tongue ; and it is so understood in Layamon's Brut : — 

* Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 123. 


" Through the same woman, 
Who there long dwelt, 
The folk 'gan to speak 
Ireland's speech." 

And in one of the poems in the Book of Taliessin, 
where the Picts are symbolised by the expression, " y 
Cath Vreith/' there is this line : " The Cat Vreith of a 
strange language (anghyfieithon) is troubled from the 
ford of Taradyr to Port Wygyr in Mona/' There is 
no doubt that the allusion here is to the Picts. 

The name of Gwyddyl Ffichti, as applied to the 
Picts, thus rests on better authority than that of the 
Triads. In the old poems, though the Picts are 
usually termed the Brithwyr, yet this name of Gwyd- 
dyl Ffichti is also applied to them, as in a curious old 
poem in the Book of Taliessin : " Five chiefs there 
shall be of the Gwyddyl Ffichti." The Picts are thus 
clearly assigned by the Welsh authorities to the race 
of the Gwyddyl ; and if they were really, according 
to the prevailing modern theory, a Cymric people 
speaking a Cymric dialect, it is hardly conceivable 
that the Cymri themselves should have thus so invari- 
ably classed them with the Gwyddyl, and attached 
that word to their name. 

The whole testimony of the Britons themselves, 
and the inferences to be drawn from tradition, thus 
clearly range the Picts as a people with the Gwyddyl, 
or Gaelic division of the great Celtic race, and not 
with the Cymric or British, and point to their race 
and language both being Gaelic ; but though this may 


be true of the core or central body of the people, there 
are yet indications that the more outlying or frontier 
portions were extensively mixed with other people, 
and especially with the three races of the Saxons, the 
Scots of Ireland, and the Britons. 

And first of the Saxons. It is somewhat remark- 
able that when Ammianus Marcellinus narrates the 
first great outburst of the barbarian, or ex-provincial 
tribes, against the Eomans in 360, he enumerates them 
as consisting of the " gentes Scotorum Pictorumque." 
In the second invasion, in 364, they were joined by 
two other nations, and consisted of the " Picti Saxon- 
esque, et Scotti et Attacotti ;" and in the third invasion, 
in 368, of the " Picti in duas gentes divisi Dicaledones 
et Vecturiones, itidemque Atticotti bellicosa hominum 
natio, et Scotti per di versa vagantes." It is hardly pos- 
sible to avoid the suspicion that the epithets applied here 
to each people point to characteristics connected with 
their name. In Cormac's glossary the old form of the 
name Scot is given as " Scuit." " Scuite " signifies wan- 
derers ; and the epithet " vagantes" is attached to the 
Scots. " Cath " (war) seems to enter into the name Atti- 
cotti, and they are " bellicosa natio." So the peculiarity 
of the Picti was, that they were " in duas gentes divisi." 
This seems to imply that the " duse gentes " were of dif- 
ferent race. Now it is remarkable that while the Picti 
and the Saxones are connected together in the second in- 
vasion, the Saxones are omitted from the third ; and the 
Picti then, for the first time, appear as composed of 
two " gentes ;" while Claudian, in writing of the same 


invasion, expressly mentions the Saxon es along with 
the Picts as forming part of the ravagers, and names 
the Orkneys as their seat. 

" Maduerunt Saxone fuso 

Orcades, incaluit Pictorum sanguine Thule 
Scotorum cumulos flevit glacialis leme." 

I have elsewhere shown ^ that the tradition given 
by Nennius, that Octa and -^bussa, the son and 
nephew of Hengist, led a body of Saxons past the 
Orkneys, and took possession of a part of Scotland, 
" usque ad confinia Pictorum," indicated a real settle- 
ment of Saxons on the east coast of Scotland as early 
as the year 374 ; and it is not impossible that they 
may have allied with the Picts proper so closely as to 
form one of the two genfes, and that the Vecturiones 
included them, a conjecture perhaps strengthened by 
the appearance of the Picts and Saxons in close union 
in 429 in Const antius' Life of St. German, by the 
fact that the ancestor of the Jutes, who were Octa's 
people, was Vecta, the son of Odin, and that another 
part of the same people were termed by Bede, Vec- 
tuarii. Be this as it may, there seem undoubtedly to 
have been settlements of Saxons at a very early period 
along the east coast of Scotland among that part of 
the Picts. 

But if there were Saxon settlements among the 
Picts on the east coast, the Scots made a settlement 
in their western district, in part of Argyllshire, which 
they called Dalriada. Bede gives the best indiea- 

* The Early Frisian Settlements in Scotland. 



tion of the nature of this settlement. He says of 
the Firth of Clyde that it was a "sinus maris per- 
maximus, qui antiquitus gentem Brittonum a Pictis 
secemebat/' that " Britannia post Brittones et Pic- 
tos tertiam Scottorum nationem in parte Pictorum 
recepit/' and that they settled " ad cujus videlicet 
sinus partem septentrionalem." We know that this 
mythic colony of the Scots represented an actual 
settlement of them in Dalriada, which took place in the 
year 503, if not earlier, and that they too settled 
among the Picts. 

On their southern frontier they seem to have become 
mixed with the Britons. The indication afforded by 
the Albanic Duan of an early encroachment of the 
tribes represented by the name Britus upon those 
represented by Albanus, as far as Fifeness, has already 
been noticed. In several of the old poems contained 
in the Book of Taliessin, allusion is made to a com- 
bination between the Brython and the Gwyddyl, and 
the name of Britliwyr, which means mixed men as 
well as painted men, seems to have been applied to 
this mixed part of the Pictish nation. Higden, in 
his Polychronicon, in giving the fable of Carausius 
settling a body of Picts in Albania, adds, " uhi per- 
mixti cum Britonihus per subsequens aevum pre- 
manserunt," which implies that such a mixture of 
the two people had been known as a fact, and one of 
the Pictish legends preserved in the Irish Nennius 
indicates this also. One version of it bears that 
Cruthnechan mac Inge, the eponymus of the Picts, 


was sent from Ireland " to assist the Britons of For- 
trenn to war against the Saxons, and they made their 
children and their swordland — i.e. Cruthentuaith — 
subject to them." Another versions bears, "And when 
they (the Picts) had cleared their swordland yonder 
among the Britons — ^viz. Magh Fortreinn primo, and 
Magh (jivgin postea."^^ Now Fortren or Magh Fortren 
was the district lying between the river Forth and the 
river Tay, and is here said to have been peopled by 
Britons, but afterwards obtained by the Picts who 
dwelt among them ; and Magh Girgin is a district on 
the east coast, now called Mearns, which the Picts won 
when warring against the Saxons, and where they 
subjected their children. The presence, therefore, 
both of Britons and Saxons as part of the population 
of the districts which, under the name of Cruthentuaith, 
was the territory of the Pictish kingdom, is here 

So far as race is concerned, therefore, the Pictish 
nation presents itself to us in the following aspect. The 
main body and centre of the nation, pure Albanic or old 
Gwyddyl, with the outlying parts mixed with other 
races — Saxons on the east coast, Scots in ArgyU, and 
Britons south of the Tay — each having occasionally seen 
a king of their own race on the throne, and the Scots 
succeeding in converting the accession of one of their 
race to the throne, in right of his Pictish blood through 
his female descent, into their permanent supremacy 
over the Pictish population of the country — people and 

* Chron. Picts and Scots, pp. 319, 329. 


language gradually merging and disappearing under 
the general term of Scottish. 

In endeavouring to determine the ethnological 
position of any people who, like the Picts, once 
existed as a distinctive element in the population of 
the country, but who have left no living representa- 
tive to bear witness to their characteristics, there 
are other sources of information to which we may 
resort besides the evidence of writers contempo- 
raneous with their existence as a known and distinct 
people, as to the particular race among the inhabit- 
ants of the country to which they belonged, or as to 
the existence among them of a living tradition of 
their origin. There is the evidence afforded by an 
analysis of such remains of their language as may 
have come down to us, indicating its philological 
relation to the languages spoken by the other races in 
the country ; and there is likewise the inference to be 
derived from the topography of the districts which 
they are known to have occupied. 

The evidence afforded by these three sources of in- 
formation does not always correspond ; and it is 
necessary carefully to discriminate between them in 
their bearing upon each other, and upon the problem 
to be solved. 

Where a people remains unmixed in race, and has 
retained the spoken language originally peculiar to 
them, unmodified by foreign influences, and where 
that people has always formed the sole inhabitants of 
the districts occupied by them, the evidence afforded 


by each of these sources of information may be ex- 
pected exactly to reflect the conclusions of the others. 
The traditions of the people, and the statements of 
contemporary writers, will refer them to a race speak- 
ing a language similar to their own ; and the vocables 
which enter into the topography of the districts occu- 
pied by them will manifestly belong to the same 
original language. But where such a people forms 
merely one element in the population of a country 
made up of diff'erent races, and is not protected from 
foreign influences by any peculiar combination of 
physical, social, and political obstacles, this is rarely 
found to be the case, and the original harmony of 
race, language, and topography, soon ceases to be pre- 
served in its integrity. Amid the clash of contending 
races, and the struggle for supremacy on the one 
hand, or for existence on the other, this condition 
suffers great modification. The race may remain 
pure and unmixed, and yet the language may suffer 
great modification from the influence of others. A 
part of the people may retain the old language; 
another part may have adopted the language of a 
people who have subjugated them ; and the language 
of a third part may have become mixed with, or 
assimilated to, that of a neighbouring people speaking 
a kindred though not an identic dialect, through con- 
tact with them, or from the gradual spread of the one 
race into the territories of the other. 

On the other hand, the people may have ceased to 
be a homogeneous race, from other races being inter- 


mingled with them ; or a common name may have 
been applied to a combination of tribes originally dis- 
tinct, but politically connected ; and yet the language 
of one of these tribes may have spread over the whole 
nation, or a form of the spoken language may have 
been adopted as the medium of official intercourse, or 
selected for the purpose of conveying the knowledge 
of Christianity, and become the vehicle of instruction 
and civilisation ; and the remains of the language 
which have come down to us, and with which we 
have to deal, may represent this form, or the written 
speech, only. 

The topography, too, of the districts occupied by 
them may have retained unmixed the vocables of the 
language spoken by its earliest inhabitants ; or it may 
have received the impress of foreign invading or immi- 
grating races who may have, from time to time, occu- 
pied a part of the country, or have permanently suc- 
ceeded the race in question ; or it may have retained 
names which belong to the language of a still 
older and more primitive people who may have pre- 
ceded them. 

It is necessary, therefore, in endeavouring to 
ascertain the ethnological position of a people long 
since passed away, to look separately at these tliree 
sources of information, and to weigh well their bear- 
ing upon each other, and upon the race to which the 
people belonged. The Picts unquestionably existed 
as a known people, and as an independent nation pos- 
sessing a political organisation and a known language, 



till the middle of the ninth century. From that date 
till the twefth century the name of the Picts is known 
as the denomination of one element in a population 
formed of two different races, but combined into one 
monarchy, and had no independent existence. After 
the twelfth century the name disappears as applied to, 
or borne by, any portion of the population of Scotland. 
Bede, who wrote prior to the ninth century, and dur- 
ing the first period, has the following passage : — 
" Haec {i.e. Britannia) in prsesenti juxta numerum 
librorum quibus lex divina scripta est quinque gentium 
linguis unam eandemque summse veritatis et verse 
sublimitatis scientiam scrutatur et confitetur Anglorum, 
videlicet, Brittonum, Scottorum, Pictorum, et Latin- 
orum quae meditatione Scripturarum caeteris omnibus 
est facta communis." In another place he says of 
Oswald, king of Northumbria : — " Denique omnes 
nationes et provincias Britannige quae in quatuor 
linguas, id est, Brittonum, Pictorum, Scottorum, et 
Anglorum di visas sunt, in ditione accepit;" and after- 
wards, in narrating the letter written by Ceolfrid, 
abbot of Jarrow in Northumberland, to Naiton : — 
" Eex Pictorum qui septentrionales Britanniae plagas 
inhabitant" in the year 710, that is, during his ow^n 
lifetime ; he says, " Haec epistola cum praesente rege 
Naitono multisque viris doctoribus esset lecta ac 
diligenter ab his qui intelligere poterant in linguam 
ejus propriam interpretata." Henry of Huntingdon, 
who wrote about 1135, and therefore in the second 
period, repeats the statement of Bede : — " Quinque 


autem Unguis utitur Britannia, Brittonum, videlicet, 
Anglomm, Scottorum, Pictorum, et Latinorum quae 
doctrina Scripturarum caeteris omnibus est facta com- 
munis," but adds this qualification : — " quamvis Picti 
jam videantur deleti et lingua eorum ita omnino de- 
structa ut jam fabula videatur quod in veterum scriptis 
eorum mentio invenitur." 

Bede, therefore, knew of the Picts as an existing 
people, and of a language termed the Pictish, and, in 
his own day, tells of a letter translated into it as the 
language of the kingdom of Naiton or Nectan ; and 
when Henry of Huntingdon wrote, the people and 
their language had apparently so entirely passed away 
that it appeared like a fable that any kingdom of the 
Picts, and any such language, had ever existed. 

It seems strange that Henry of Huntingdon should 
have made this statement almost in the very year in 
which the Picts, as a body, formed an entire division 
of the Scottish army at the Battle of the Standard, and 
when Reginald of Durham, in the same century, refers 
to their language as then spoken at Kirkcudbright in 
Galloway ; but the truth is, that, notwithstanding the 
language of Henry of Huntingdon, neither the people 
nor their language may, in point of fact, have ceased 
to exist in Scotland, the one as an element in the con- 
glomerate of different races which composed the popu- 
lation of the monarchy, and the other as the patois of 
a district ; nor does it follow, from the language of 
Bede, that the Picts must of necessity have been a 
different race, and their language a different language 


from any of the other peoples and languages enume- 
rated in the same passage. 

What, then, did Bede and Henry of Huntingdon 
mean when the former enumerated the Pictish as a 
separate and distinct language, and the latter said that 
this people and language were destroyed, while it is 
evident that large bodies of the people remained, and 
that a language called the Pictish was stiU spoken by 
some portion of the inhabitants of the country. 

If the language referred to by Bede was the spoken 
language of a people of unmixed race, possessing but 
one common form of speech, then these statements cer- 
tainly imply that it was something distinct as a lan- 
guage from that of the Angles, Scots, or Britains, and 
that in Henry's time the people called the Picts had 
been either entirely extirpated, or so completely sub- 
jugated that all distinctive character had been lost, 
and that they now spoke the language of their con- 
querors. If, however, the Picts were a people consist- 
ing of various tribes, politically combined into one 
nation, and the language referred to was that form of 
language adopted as the medium through which they 
had been instructed in knowledge, and in which all 
public affairs were carried on, then this by no means 
follows. Such a language might have perished when 
the kingdom was destroyed. It may have been merely 
a different form of a language analogous either to that 
of the Angles or Scots or Britains, and the spoken 
language of the Pictish tribes, or of some of them, may 
have remained as the vernacular dialect of those who 


survived the revolution which destroyed their inde- 

The language, referred to by Bede and Henry of 
Huntingdon, was a cultivated or literary language, 
which had been brought under the trammels of written 
forms. It was a lano:uao-e in which the word of God 
was studied, and we know how the dialect selected for 
the teaching of the Christian Church becomes elevated 
above the spoken dialects into a fixed standard for the 
whole nation. It was a language into which Ceolfrid's 
letter was translated by the " Viri doctores" of the 
court, and it was this same lano-uao-e which is stated 
to have ceased to exist in Henry's time. Its position, 
in this respect, is analogous to the German literary 
language, technically called New High German. Like 
the Celtic, the German spoken dialects fall into two 
classes, which are usually called High German and 
Low German. The differences between them are not 
so broad or so vital as those between the two types 
of the Celtic, the Gaelic, and the Cymric dialects, 
and they are more of a geographical than of a philo- 
logical character. Grimm remarks this when he says 
that language is susceptible of a physical as well 
as an intellectual influence, and, though its principal 
elements remain the same, is, by long residence in 
mountains, woods, plains, or sea-coast, differently toned, 
so as to form separate subordinate dialects. " All ex- 
perience shows," says he, " that the mountain-air makes 
the sounds sharp and rough ; the plain, soft and smooth. 
On the Alps the tendency is to diphthongs and aspi- 


rates ; on the plain to narrow and thin vowels, and to 
medice and tenues among the consonants." The former 
represents the High German dialects ; the latter the 
Low. The written language, however, or the literary- 
German, is not identic with any one spoken dialect ; 
it approaches more nearly to the High than to the Low 
German, but it is, in fact, an independent form of the 
language, the creation, in a sense, of Martin Luther, 
who, with the view of making his translation of the 
Bible adapted to all Germany, adopted as his medium 
a form of the language based upon the Upper Saxon 
and the official language of the German Empire, and 
this form of the language, stamped with the impress of 
his vigorous intellect, and popularised through the first 
Protestant version of the Bible, was adopted as the 
language of the literature of Germany, and, subjected 
to the cultivation it necessarily produced, became the 
language of the educated classes. The language of 
Holland or the Dutch is a Low German dialect, and is 
more nearly allied to the Low German than the latter 
is to the High German ; but it is an independent 
language, and has its own cultivation and literature, 
and its own translation of the Bible. 

Now, a historian might well say that the word 
of God was studied in the five languages of the Eng- 
lish, the French, the Dutch, the German, and the 
Latin, and yet one of them — the Dutch — would be 
closely allied to one form of the German. Again, if 
we could suppose Germany conquered by the Dutch, 
the German written and cultivated language would be 


superseded by the Dutch equally written and culti- 
vated language ; the Low German dialects would be 
as closely assimilated to the literary Dutch as the High 
German dialects now are to the literary German, and 
the latter would occupy the same position in which the 
Low German now is. In such a case we could well 
understand a writer, three centuries after the event, 
saying that the Germans had disappeared, and the 
German language was so completely destroyed that 
the mention of it and its literature in former writers 
appeared like fables. And yet the people and the 
spoken dialects of Germany would have remained un- 
changed and been there just as they always had been. 
Substitute Scot for Dutch and Pict for German, 
and this is exactly the state of matters producing the 
phenomena noted by Bede and Henry of Huntingdon, 
and it is perfectly possible that the Picts may have 
been very nearly allied, both in race and language, 
with either the Britons or the Scots, who conquered 
them ; and that they may have remained as an element 
in the population, and their language as the patois of 
a district, long after the days of Henry of Huntingdon, 
in a country in which both Scot and Briton entered so 
largely into its population. I have thought it neces- 
sary to enter at some length into the consideration of 
the meaning and import of these passages of Bede and 
Henry of Huntingdon, as a right understanding of 
them has a most material bearing upon the question. 




There is a fallacy which lurks in many of the argu- 
ments regarding the ethnological character of the old 
Celtic nations, based upon the modem languages. In 
arguing from the modern languages, it is always assumed 
that the language of each branch of the old Celtic race 
must be represented by one or other of the modern 
Celtic dialects. This fallacy pervades the writings of 
almost all of our ethnological writers, who argue as if, 
when a classical writer states that a difference existed 
between the language of two divisions of the old Celtic 
people, and when there is reason to suppose that the 
language of the one resembled the Welsh, then it must 
of necessity follow that the language of the other was 
the Gaelic. But this by no means follows ; nor is it at 
all self-evident that these modem Celtic languages 
represent all the ancient dialects. On the contrary, 
analogy and experience would lead us to a different 
conclusion. The ruder a language is, the more multi- 
plied are its dialects ; and the great medium for reducing 
their number is its cultivation. Before the introduction 
of writing, the means of such cultivation were to a great 
extent wanting. The Christian church was the great 



civiliser ; and it was through its agency that these dia- 
lects received their cultivation, and one of their forms 
raised to the position of a written language. In the 
ante-Christian period of the Celtic language, the diver- 
sity of dialects must have been very great, and there 
may be many which have no direct representative 
among the modern languages. There may be many 
lost dialects on the Continent ; and one such certainly 
existed, as we have seen in our own island, which has 
long ago disappeared — viz. the Pictish. 

There run, however, through the whole of the modern 
Celtic languages two great distinctive dialectic differ- 
ences, which lie deep in the very groundwork of the 
language, and must have existed before their entrance 
into Great Britain, if not before their entrance into 
Europe. These differences separate these languages 
into two classes, each consisting of three of the spoken 
tongues. The one class, which we shall call the Cymric, 
consists of the Breton, the Welsh, and the Cornish ; the 
other, which we shall call the Gaelic, consists of the 
Irish, the Manx, and the Scotch Gaelic. The three 
Gaelic dialects are much more closely allied to each 
other than the three Cymric dialects ; but each of the 
dialects composing the one class possesses in common 
those great distinctive differences which separate them 
from the three dialects composing the other class. 

But while this great diversity exists, there are also 
analogies so close, vital, and fundamental, as to leave 
no doubt that they are all children of one common 
parent. Their vocabulary is, to a great extent, closely 



allied. A distinguished Welsh scholar of the present 
day estimates that two-thii'ds of the vocabulary of the 
six dialects are substantially the same ; and I believe 
this conclusion to be correct. A number of the primi- 
tive adjectives expressing the simplest conceptions are 
the same. It is a peculiarity of both classes that the 
irregular forms bear a smaller proportion to the regular 
forms than is usual ; but these irregular forms, which 
are, in fact, the deposit of an older stage of the language, 
bfear a very remarkable analogy to each other. 

The great and leading peculiarity in both classes of 
the Celtic languages, however, is the mutation of initial 
consonants ; and while these initial mutations exist in 
each class, and are governed by the same laws, and thus 
afford additional evidence of their common origin, they 
at the same time present us with a means of discrimi- 
nating between the different dialects, and distinguish- 
ing their mutual position as such, quite as effectual as 
Grimm's law has been among the German dialects. 
The consonants most readily affected by initial muta- 
tion are the mute consonants ; and the following 
tables will show what the initial mutations in Welsh 
and Irish are : — 





Medial. Aspirate. 


Radical Eclipsis. 



. P 



.. P 




. c 



.. c 




. T 



.. T 




. B 



.. B 




. G 


.. G 







.. D 




But while these consonants thus undergo a change 
according to fixed laws within the limits of the lan- 
guage itself, there is also a similar interchange of sounds 
between the different spoken languages ; and it is 
obvious that if the changes which the same words 
undergo in difierent dialects follow regular laws, the 
phonetic laws of these languages are of the utmost 
importance in discriminating their dialectic differences. 
The phonetic law which governs the relations of Welsh 
and Gaelic, so far as regards the mute consonants, is 
this : — Each mute consonant in Welsh has two changes 
in Gaelic, either into its own middle sound, or into 
another consonant of the same character, but of a dif- 
ferent organ. Thus the labial p passes into its middle 
sound b, as in 

Penn, a summit. Beann, a hill. 
Prydydh Breagha, pretty. 

Pincen Beangan, a sprig. 

or into the guttural c, as in 

Penn Ceann, a head. 

Pr&fi Crann, a tree. 

Plant Clann, children. 

Pwy Cia, who. 

This latter change is deeply rooted in Welsh and Gaelic, 
and enters into the very life of the language, of which 
we have two very remarkable instances. The word 
Pascha, for Easter, can only have entered these lan- 
guages after the establishment of the Christian church, 
when the languages, under the influence of its teach- 
ing, were passing into the fixed form of a written and 
cultivated speech ; but while in Welsh it becomes 


pasg, in Gaelic, under the operation of this law, it be- 
comes casg. On the other hand, St. Ciaran, an Irish 
saint, and the founder of Clonmacnois, passed over, in 
the sixth century, into Cornwall, and had no sooner 
put his foot on Cymric ground than he became St. 

In the next class of the mutes the converse takes 
place, for the Welsh guttural g either disappears or 
passes into the dental c?, as in 

Gel Daoil, a leech. 

Gloin Dealan, coaL 

Gvmei/d Deatiadh, to do. 

Oohaith Dobhchais, hope. 

There is here, however, a slight deviation from the 
general rule : g in Welsh is usually combined with w, 
and is in this combination the Welsh digamma ; but 
instead of passing into w, according to the law, it 
becomes in Gaelic /; that is, the guttural in Welsh 
passes into an aspirated labial in Gaelic, as in 









a maiL 



, white. 

This is sufficient to illustrate the law of this double 
change : but it is rather remarkable that while the one 
change is into a different character of the same letter, 
and in strict accordance with the phonetic change with- 
in the language itself, the other change is from a letter 
of one organ to that of another, as from labial to 
guttural, and guttural to dental. The operating cause 


of this rather startling change is to be found with- 
in the laws which govern the sounds of the whole 
languages of this class, and in consequence of which 
the same phenomenon presents itself in other members 
of the Indo-European family. 

There are two influences at work in all languages, 
antagonistic and mutually destructive of each other — 
the etymologic and the phonetic. The one governs the 
formation of a language, the other aids in its dis- 
organisation. The etymologic influence has reference 
to meaning only, and brings together sounds which do 
not harmonise. These are immediately assailed by the 
phonetic influence, and modified till they are brought to 
a more simple and harmonious sound. History knows 
nothing of the formation of languages, and the phonetic 
influence is at work, and language in a process of 
decay, before the people which speak it have entered 
the historic period; but when these phonetic laws have 
become known, we are able to trace back the sounds, 
however impaired, to their original constituent ele- 
ments. These contrasts, then, of labial and guttural, 
and guttural and dental, draw us back to a time when 
there were complex sounds which the human ear could 
not long tolerate, and which, by the modification of 
one or other element, passed over into the more simple 
sound, and in their divorce from each other present 
this great contrast. There was probably a complex 
sound composed of a guttural and labial ; h, or hard c, 
and V or p. By one member of the family the c will 
be softened to s, and then disappear ; while the v will 


be hardened to p, and remain alone. In another, the 
hard c will remain, and the v be softened to u, and 
then disappear, leaving the c alone. An instance of 
this is the word for a " horse," which runs through 
most of the languages of the Indo-European family. 
The original term must have been acvas ; in Sanscrit it 
becomes asvas ; in Zend, aspas ; in Greek, ippos ; and 
in Gaulish or old Celtic, epo. In Latin the hard c 
is retained, and v modified, and it becomes equus; 
and in Gaelic, ech. The same process would seem to 
have been gone through within the Celtic languages, 
as the old inscriptions indicate that the old Celtic 
word for a " son " was maqvas. By one branch of the 
race the hard c was softened, and then dropped ; while 
the V was hardened to p, producing the Welsh map 
(a son). By the other, the hard c was retained, but 
the V softened to u, in which form we have it as 
maqui, and finally dropped, leaving the Gaelic mac. 
The digamma, too, was originally a complex sound, 
which in Welsh is gw, and in Latin v, and in Gaelic/. 
The consonantal changes between Welsh and Gaelic 
are, then, as foUow : — 


P into C or B G into D W into O 

C into TorQ GW i7ito F Y into E 

B into G H into S or F E into EA 

The vowel-changes from Welsh to Gaelic are from 
IV to and y to e, which are likewise the masculine 
and feminine forms in Welsh, as — 




Trwm m 

Trom f 


Crwm ni 

Crom f 


Bychan m 

Bechan f 


Brych m 

Brech f 


The vowel e becomes ea,as in. pen (a head), ceann, and 
heann, G. 

Such being the relations between Gaelic and 
Welsh, it must be obvious that they are of a nature to 
enable us to fix, from the form of the words, the 
relative position of almost any Celtic dialect to these 
two great types of the twofold division of the lan- 
guage ; and the question at once arises, whether they 
may not enable us to determine the position of that 
one Celtic dialect in Great Britain of which we have 
no direct living representative — viz. the Pictish. Of 
this language only five words have been handed 
directly down to us ; but still, if these words are of 
such a kind as to exhibit some of the phonetic laws of 
the language, we are not without the means of deter- 
mining this question. These five words are — 

1. Peanfahel. — Bede, who wrote in the eighth 
centur)'', says that the Eoman Wall commenced about 
two miles west of the monastery of Abercom, " in 
loco qui sermone Pictorum Peanfahel, lingua autem 
Anglorum Penneltun appellatur;" and Nennius adds 
that the wall was called "Britannico sermone Guaul," 
and extended " a Penguaul quae villa Scotice Cenail, 
Anglice vero Peneltun dicitur." This gives us Pen- 
guaul as the British form, Peanfahel as the Pictish, and 
Cenail as the Scottish. 


2. Ur. — One of the Pictish legends which had 
been added to the Historia Britonum, and has been 
preserved in the Irish Nennius, is expressly stated to 
have been taken from the books of the Picts, and has 
so important a bearing on this question that I insert it 
here entire : — 

" Of the origin of the Cruithneach here. Cruithne, son of 
Cing, son of Luctai, son of Partalan, son of Agnoin, son of Buain, 
son of Mais, son of Fathecht, son of lafeth, son of Noe. He was 
the father of the Cruichneach, and reigned a hundred years. 
These are the seven sons of Cruithne — viz. Fib, Fidach, Fodla, 
Fortrend, warlike, Cait, Ce, Cirig — and they divided the land into 
seven divisions, as Columcille says : — 

" Seven children of Cruithne 
Divided Alban into seven divisions : 
Cait, Ce, Cirig, a warlike clan. 
Fib, Fidach, Fotla, Fortrenn. 

And the name of each man is given to their territories, as Fib, 
Ce, Cait, and the rest. Thirteen kings of them took possession. 
Fib reigned twenty-four years ; Fidach, forty years ; Fortrend, 
seventy years ; Cait, twenty-two years ; Ce, twelve years ; Cirig, 
eighty years ; Aenbecan, son of Cait, thirty years ; Finecta, sixty 
years ; Guidid Gadbre, id est, Geis, one year ; Gest Gurid, forty 
years ; Urges, thirty years ; Brude Pont, thirty kings of them ; 
and Brude was the name of each man of them, and of the divisions 
of the other men. They possessed an hundred and fifty years, as 
it is in the Books of the Cruithneach. 

" Brude Pont, B. urpont, B. Leo, B. urleo, B. Gant, B. urgant, 
B. Gnith, B. urgnith, B. Fech, B. urfeich, B. Cal, B. ureal, B. Cint, 
B. urcint, B. Feth, B. urfeth, B. Ru, B. ero, B. Gart, B. urgart, 
B. Cind, B. urcind, B. Uip, B. uruip, B. Grith, B. urgrith, B. Muin, 
B. urmuin."* 

Thus ends this very curious fragment, which 

* Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 24. 


undoubtedly contains a number of Pictish, vocables. 
I shall advert to these afterwards ; at present I have 
to do with only one. It will be observed that the 
names of the thirty kings descended from Bruide Pont 
consist of only fifteen vocables, each name being 
repeated with the syllable ur prefixed. We have 
something exactly analogous to this in the old Welsh 
genealogies annexed to the Harleian MS. of Nennius, 
and written in the year 977. The ancestry of Cunedda 
Guledig is there thus given : — Cunedda, son of Patern, 
son of Tacit, son of Cein, son of Gwrc&m, son of 
Doli, son of GwrdioM, son of Duvn, son of 6^wrduvn. 
This is evidently the same thing — guor, gur, or gwvy 
representing the Pictish ur. Again, one of the Pictish 
names is Urgest ; and this name is repeated after- 
wards in the list of Pictish kings, where we twice 
have Ungust, son of Urgest; while the Irish Annals 
give the Irish equivalent as Aongus, son of Feargus 
— -fear representing ur. We thus get the following 
forms : — Cymric, gwr ; Pictish, ur ; Gaelic, fear. 

3. ScoLOFTH. — Reginald of Durham, in his Lihellus 
de admirandis Beati Cuthherti Yirtutihus — a work of 
the twelfth century — tells of a certain " Scolasticus 
Pictorum apud Cuthbrictiskchirch," or Kirkcudbright in 
Galloway ; and says he was one of those " clerici qui 
in ecclesia iUa commorantur qui Pictorum lingua 
Scollofthes cognominantur." Scolasticus in Welsh is 
yscolheic ; in Irish, sgolog. 

4. Cartit. — Cormac, in his old Irish Glossary , 
compiled in the ninth century, has — ^" Cartit, id est 

VOL. I. K 


delg, id est helra cruithnech, id est delg for a curtar 
a choss ;" that is, " car tit, a buckle, is a Pietist word. 
It is a buckle for putting on the foot." The Welsh 
equivalent is gwaell; the Irish is given by Cormac, 

5. DuiPER. — In another of the Pictish fragments, 
which also formed part of the Pictish Chronicle, one of 
the mythic kings is thus given, " Gartnaidh Duiper." 
In the Chronicle of the Priory of St. Andrew, which 
contains a Scottish list of the same kings, the epithet 
is translated thus — " Gartnech dives," or rich. " Eich " 
in Welsh is goludog ; in Irish, saoihher. 

From these five words we gather the following 
phonetic changes. In the first we see the initial p in 
Cymric and Pictish passing over into c in Gaelic, the 
Cymric e passing into ea in Pictish and Gaelic, and 
the Cymric gu passing into f in Pictish, and neutral- 
ised by aspiration in Gaelic. In the second, gwr 
becomes ur in Pictish, fear in Gaelic. In the third 
we see the final guttural in Cymric and Gaelic 
softened to the dental in Pictish. The fourth is a 
peculiar word, but the Welsh and Irish equivalents 
furnish an example of g passing into d. In the fifth, 
the Pictish duiper and the Gaelic saoihher are the 
same word, showing d passing into s. 

From these examples, Pictish appears to occupy a 
place between Cymric and Gaelic, leaning to the one 
in some of its phonetic laws, and to the other in 
others. Thus in the initial of the first word we have 
a Cymric form. The vowel-changes are Gaelic, and 



the initial of the second syllable also Gaelic ; and on 
comparing the first two words we see that, while gw in 
Cymric ought, according to the general law, to pass into 
u in Gaelic — but in reality passes into f — the Pictish 
law combines both ; and the Pictish canon is that 
gw in Cymric before a consonant becomes u in 
Pictish, and before a vowel becomes f in Pictish as in 

The other words do not help us at this stage of 
the inquiry ; but we have another source of informa- 
tion in the proper names, of which we have in 
the lists of the Pictish kings the Pictish forms in the 
Irish Nennius and the Pictish Chronicle, and the 
Irish or Gaelic forms in the Chronicle of the Priory of 
St. Andrew and the Irish Annals, while the Welsh 
genealogies furnish Cymric equivalents. The phonetic 
laws which govern these are equally available for our 
purpose. First, the Pictish law which changes gw into 
u before a consonant and / before a vowel, appears in 
the Pictish names Urgest, Uroid, and Fingaine ; the 
Cymric equivalents of which are Gwrgust, Gwriad, 
and Gwyngenau ; and the Gaelic, Feargus, Ferat, and 
Fingon. Then in the Pictish Drust, Deriloi, and 
Dalorgan, the Cymric equivalents of which are Grwst, 
Gwrtholi, and Galargan, we have the g passing into d, 
which is a Gaelic form. In the Pictish Domnall, the 
Cymric equivalent of which is Dwfnwall, we have 
the vowel-change of iv into o, also a Gaelic form. 
The following table will show the result of this an- 
alysis : — 



































The Pictish tradition which I have given at length, 
besides yielding the word ur, furnishes ns with a series 
of Pictish vocables. These are, first, the seven sons of 
Cruithne. They are said to have divided the land into 
seven portions, and to have given their names to them. 
We can identify some of them. " Fib " is plainly Fife, 
the old form of which was Fibh. " Fodla " is Atholl, 
the old form of which name was Kiihfodla. " Fortrenn " 
is the well-known name of the central district of the 
Pictish kingdom, which has now disappeared. " Cirig " 
or " Circin," as in the Pictish Chronicle, is the district 
of Girgin or Maghghirghin; now corrupted into Mearns, 
or Kincardineshire. " Caith " is Caithness, as in the 
old poem in the Irish Nennius, — 

" From thence they conquered Alba, 
The noble nurse of fruitfulness, 
Without destroying the people or their houses, 
From the region of Cait to Forcu ;" 


that is, from Caithness to the Forth, the southern 
boundary of the Pictish kingdom. " Ce " and 
" Fidach " I cannot identify. But it will be observed, 
of these seven sons, the names of four begin withy^ and 
the other three with c, obvious Gaelic forms ; and I am 
inclined to think that they mark out a division of the 
Pictish race into two, of which one affected the gut- 
tural c, and the other the softer sound of they. 

Of the six names which follow, Aenbecan and 
Finecta are Gaelic forms ; Guidid, Cymric ; Gest, 
Urgest, and Brude, Pictish, as distinguished from 
either ; and the untranslated epithets, Gadbre, Geis, 
and Gurid, are probably Pictish words. 

The names of the thirty Brudes yield also fifteen 
Pictish monosyllables. These are, alphabetically, Cal, 
Cint, Cind, Fech, Feth, Gant, Gart, Geis, Gnith, Grith, 
Leo, Muin, Pont, Eu, Uip; and here also the pre- 
valence of the gutturals, c, g, and the soft f, is ap- 
parent. Some of these monosyllables have a resemblance 
to the names of the old Irish letters which signify 
trees, as cal, the name for c, a hazel ; fetii seems the 
same as pet, the name for jp ; ga7% like gort (ivy), the 
name for g ; muin, the vine, is the name for m ; and 
ho resembles luis, and ru, ruts, ash and elder, the 
names for I and r. In the same manner three of the 
names of the seven sons of Cruithne have a resemblance 
to three of the numerals, as fib, pump, five ; ce, se, 
six ; caith, saith, seven. These, however, may be 
casual resemblances. 

The relation of the fifteen vocables to the proper 


names is more apparent. On analysing the proper 
names of the Cymri and the Gael we find that 
both are produced by the same process — viz. a cer- 
tain number of monosyllables forms the first half 
of the name, and to these are affixed a certain 
number of endings, the combination of which forms 
the proper names. In Cymric the initial syllables 
are — Ael, Aer, Arth, Bed, Cad, Car, Col, Cyn, Dog, 
Dygvn, El, Eur, Gar, Gor, Gwen, Gwyn, Gwyd, 
Gwr, Id, Mael, Mor, Tal, Tud, Ty. The Irish initial 
syllables are — Aen, Ain, Air, Ard, Art, Cath, Con, 
Corb, Cu, Domh, Donn, Dubh, Dun, Each, Echt, Eoch, 
Er, For, Fian, Fin, Finn, Fedh, Fear, Fail, Flaith, 
Flann, Gorm, Ir, Laigh, Lear, Lugh, Maen, Muir, 
Eagh, Eeacht, Ruadh, Eud, Saer, Tuath. It would be 
endless to enumerate the affixes ; but the most common 
Cymric are — deyrn, varch, wyr, swys ; as, Aelgyvarch, 
Cadvarch, Cynvarch, Aerdeyrn, Cyndeyrn, Arthwys, 
Cynwys, etc. ; and in Irish, cal, or in oblique case, gal 
and gusa ; as, Aengus, Artgal, Ardgal, Congus, Congal, 
Dungus, Dungal, Feargus, Feargal, and so forth. Now 
these fifteen Pictish vocables likewise enter into the 
Pictish names, as Gart in Gartnaidh, and Dergart and 
Geis in Urgest ; Leo in Morleo, Muin in Muinait, Uip 
in Uipog, and so forth. On the whole, the Pictish 
vocables coincide more with the Irish than with the 
Cymric, as Cal with Gal, Geis with Gusa, and so forth. 
Further, on comparing the initial forms in Irish and 
in Cymric, we see in Cymric no words beginning with 
/, wliile in Irish there are nine ; so that the vocables in 


Pictish with initial y* are Gaelic. On the other hand, 
six vocables begin with g in Cymric, and only one in 
Irish ; so that here the Pictish draws to the Cymric, 
and stands between the two with a greater leaning to 
the Gaelic. 

The same fallacy which pervades the ethnological 
deductions regarding the Gauls also affects this Pictish 
question. It has been too much narrowed by the as- 
sumption that, if it is shewn to be a Celtic dialect, it 
must of necessity be absolutely identic in all its features 
either with Welsh or with Gaelic. But this necessity 
does not really exist ; and the result I come to is, that 
it is not Welsh, neither is it Gaelic ; but it is a GaeKc 
dialect partaking largely of Welsh forms. 

It has always appeared to me that we can trace in 
the Celtic languao^es a twofold subordinate dialectic 
difference lying side by side, which is very analogous 
to some of the differences between high and low Ger- 
man. I do not mean to say that the differences be- 
tween these subordinate Celtic dialects are absolutely 
parallel to those between high and low German ; but 
merely that they are of a nature which renders this 
nomenclature not inapplicable, while it affords a con- 
venient term of distinction. A leading distinction 
between the high and low German is the preference of 
the latter for the sharp sounds, p, t, and h, instead of y 
or 2yf, s or z and ch ; and the instance most familiar to 
us is the substitution of t for s, as wasser in high Ger- 
man becomes water in low, and water in English ; dasz 
in high German is dat in low, and that in English. 


Now, a similar distinction is, in one point of view, 
observable among the three dialects of the Cymric. 
Of these dialects, the Cornish and Breton are much 
nearer to each other than either is to the Welsh. It 
is, in fact, a mistake to suppose, as is frequently as- 
serted, that a Welshman and a Breton can understand 
each other. One of our best Welsh scholars, Mr. 
Price, who visited Bretagne, remarks : " Notwith- 
standing the many assertions that have been made 
respecting the natives of Wales and Brittany being 
mutually intelligible through the medium of their 
respective languages, I do not hesitate to say that the 
thing is utterly impossible. Single words in either 
language will frequently be found to have correspond- 
ing terms of a similar sound in the other, and occa- 
sionally a short sentence deliberately pronounced may 
be partially intelligible ; but as to holding a conversa- 
tion, that is totally out of the question." Cornish and 
Breton are much more nearly allied. Now, it is re- 
markable that in many cases d, dd, and t, in Welsh, 
pass into s in Cornish and z in Breton, as in 

W. Tad. 

C. Tas. 

W. Goludog. 

C. Gallosah, 

W. Bleidd. 

B. BUiz. 

W. Noeth. 

B. Noz. 

which is exactly analogous to one of the leading differ- 
ences between high and low German ; and Welsh, 
like the latter, shows a great preference for the dentals 
and its aspirates. I am therefore inclined to introduce 
the same nomenclature among the Celtic languages, 


and to call Welsh " low Cymric," Cornish and Breton 
" high Cymric" dialects. 

The three dialects which compose the Gaelic class 
are much more nearly allied to each other than even 
Cornish and Armoric, and may be held to represent 
the old Scottish. On the same analogy they aU belong 
to a high Gaelic dialect. There are to be found, how- 
ever, among the synonyms in the Gaelic dialects, low 
Gaelic forms accompanying high Gaelic forms, as in 


Dull, hope. 


Deangan, an ant. 


Deas, stay. 


Damh, learning. 


Deirc, almsgiving. 


Tonnach, a wall. 

which seems to indicate that a low Gaelic dialect has 
been incorporated or become blended with it. 

The Pictish language appears to have approached 
more nearly to the old Scottish than even Breton to 
Welsh, according to Mr. Price's view ; for Adomnan, 
who, in the seventh century, wrote the Life of St. 
Columha, the Scottish missionary to the Picts, describes 
St. Columba, the Scot, as conversing freely with the 
Picts, from the king to the plebeian, without difficulty; 
but when he preached to them the Word of God, he 
was obliged to make use of an interpreter : that is, he 
could make himself understood in conversing, but not 
in preaching ; and, conversely, a Pict understood what 
he said in Scottish, but could not foUow a Scottish ser- 
mon. This is a point, in fact, as to which there exists 
much misapprehension ; and we are apt to forget how 


very small a difference even in pronunciation will inter- 
pose an obstacle to mutual intelligence. Even in Breton 
and Cornish, the two Cymric dialects which most nearly 
approach each other, Norris, the highest Cornish au- 
thority, says, " In spite of statements to the contrary, 
the writer is of opinion that a Breton within the his- 
torical existence of the two dialects could not have 
understood a Cornishman speaking at any length, or 
on any but the most trivial subjects;" and between 
Irish and Scotch Gaelic it would not require very much 
additional divergence to prevent the one from under- 
standing the other. 

Such being probably the mutual position of Pictish 
and Scottish, the few words we are able to compare 
show the difference between them to have been of the 
same character as between the high and low dialects ; 
for we find saoihher (rich) in Irish represented by 
duiper in Pictish; and in proper names, Sarran by 
Taran, showing s in the one represented by d and t in 
the other; while the words sgolofth, cartit, and the 
proper names, Bargoit, Wroid, Wid, show the preference 
of the Pictish for dental in place of guttural termina- 
tions. I consider, therefore, that Pictish was a low 
Gaelic dialect; and, following out the analogy, the 
result I come to is, that Cymric and Gaelic had each a 
high and a low variety ; that Cornish and Breton were 
high Cymric dialects, Welsh low Cymric; that old 
Scottish, spoken by the Scotti, now represented by Irish, 
Scotch Gaelic, and Manx, was the high Gaelic dialect, 
and Pictish the low Gaelic dialect. 


This analogy is confirmed by the legendary origins 
of these different races, in which, under the form of a 
mythic migration, the traces of a rude and primitive 
ethnology often lie hid. The tendencies which produce 
the high and low German are, as we have remarked, 
associated with the character of the country peopled by 
them. The low German forms are connected with the 
level and marshy plains which border on the German 
Ocean, the high German with the more mountainous 
region of the south of Germany; but the same character- 
istics mark the mythic migrations of the Celtic races 
which peopled Britain. In the Welsh traditions, the 
Cymry, which are represented by the Welsh or low 
Cymric people, are said to have crossed the German 
Ocean from the north of Germany; the Lloegrys, repre- 
sented by the Cornish or high Cymric, are brought from 
the south. In the old Irish traditions, the different 
races said to have peopled Ireland faU into two classes : 
the one is said to have penetrated through Europe by 
the Ehiphaean Mountains to the Baltic, and to have 
crossed the German Ocean ; and the other is brought 
by the Mediterranean and the south of Europe.* The 
former alone are said to have made settlements in Scot- 
land ; and Bede, in giving the tradition of the origin of 
the Picts, brings them likewise from the north of Ger- 
many across the German Ocean. This population which 
preceded the German races was, in fact, the race of the 
Celts, who seem to have been driven westward by the 

* The one class consists of the Nemedians and the Tuatha de Danaan ; 
the other of Partholan and his colony, the Firbolg and the Milesians. 


pressure of the Teutonic movement ; and, like the Ger- 
man, to have shown a twofold minor difference, produced 
by the same physical influence, which is known by the 
names of " high " and "low" German. 

The platform occupied by the Pictish people was 
not confined to Scotland alone, for they certainly 
extended over part of the north of Ireland, and formed, ' 
in all probabiKty, an earlier population of the north 
half of Ireland, which became subjugated by the Scots. 
On the other hand, the Scots at an early period occupied 
the district of Argyll. In the north of Ireland and the 
west of Scotland the Picts must, at an early period, 
have become blended with the Scots, and their form of 
the Gaelic assimilated to the Scottish. In Scotland, 
south of the Tay, where they occupied the districts 
frdm the Tay to the Forth, the region of Manau or 
Manann, and Galloway, they came in contact with the 
Cymric people, and the one being a low Gaelic dialect, 
and the other a low Cymric dialect, their forms must 
have so far resembled each other as to lead to an 
admixture presenting that mixed language of low Gaelic 
with Cymric forms, known to Bede as the Pictish lan- 




The etymology of the names of places in a country is 
either a very important element in fixing the ethnology 
of its inhabitants, or it is a snare and a delusion, just 
according as the subject is treated. When such names 
are analysed according to fixed laws, based upon 
sound philological principles and a comprehensive 
observation of facts, they afibrd results both important 
and trustworthy ; but if treated empirically, and 
founded upon resemblance of sounds alone, they be- 
come a mere field for wild conjectures and fanciful 
etymologies, leading to no certain results. The latter 
is the ordinary process to which they are subjected. 
The natural tendency of the human mind is to a mere 
phonetic etymology of names, both of persons and of 
places, in which the sounds of the name of the place 
appear to resemble the sounds in certain words of a 
certain language, the language from which the 
etymology is derived being selected upon no sound 
philological grounds, but from arbitrary considerations 

Unhappily, an etymology founded upon mere 
resemblance of sounds has hitherto characterised all 


systematic attempts to analyse the topograpliy of 
Scotland, and to deduce ethnologic results from it. 
Prior to the publication of the Statistical Account 
of Scotland in 1792, it may be said that no general 
attempt had been made to explain the meaning of the 
names of places in Scotland, or to indicate the 
language from which they were derived. We find 
occasionally, in old lives of the saints and in charters 
connected with church lands, that names of places 
occurring in them are explained ; and these interpreta- 
tions are very valuable, as indicating what may be 
termed the common tradition of their meaning and 
derivation at an early period. Of very different value 
are a few similar derivations in the fabulous histories 
of Boece, Buchanan, and John Major, which are 
usually mere fanciful conjectures of pedantry. 

The first impetus to anything like a general 
etymologising of Scottish topography was given when 
Sir John Sinclair projected the Statistical Account of 
Scotland. In the schedule of questions which he 
issued in 1790 to the clergy of the Church of Scot- 
land, the first two questions were as follows : — 

1. What is the ancient and modern name of the 

parish ? 

2. What is the origin and etymology of the name? 
This set every minister thinking what was the 

meaning of the name of his parish. The publication 
of the Poems of Ossian; and the controversy which 
followed, had tended greatly to identify national 
feeling and the history of the country with Gaelic 



literature and language, and, with few exceptions, the 
etymology was sought for in that language. The 
usual formula of reply was, " The name of this parish 
is derived from the Gaelic," and then followed a 
Gaelic sentence resembling in sound the name of the 
parish, and supposed admirably to express its 
characteristics, though the unfortunate minister is 
often obliged to confess that the parish is remarkably 
free from the characteristics expressed by the Gaelic 
derivation of its name. These etymologies are usually 
suggested irrespective entirely of any known facts as 
to the history or population of the parish, and are 
purely phonetic. 

After the publication of the Statistical Account, 
Gaelic was in the ascendant as the source of all 
Scottish etymologies, till the publication of Chalmers' 
Caledonia in 1807. John Pinkerton had indeed 
tried to direct the current of popular etymology into 
a Teutonic channel, but his attempts to find a meaning 
in Gothic dialects for words plainly Celtic were so un- 
successful that he failed even to gain a hearing. 
Chalmers was more fortunate. His theory was that a 
large proportion of the names of places in Scotland are 
to be derived from the Welsh, and indicate an original 
Cymric population. And this he has worked out with 
much labour and pains. In doing so, he was the first 
to attempt to show evidence of the dialectic difierence 
between Welsh and Gaelic pervading the names of 
places, and to discriminate between them ; but for 
almost all the names of places in the Lowlands of 


Scotland he furnishes a Welsh etymology, which, like 
his predecessors the Scottish clergy, he supposes to be 
expressive of the characteristics of the locality. His 
theory has, in the main, commanded the assent of 
subsequent writers, and i^ usually assumed to be, on 
the whole, a correct representation of the state of the 
fact. Yet his system was as purely one of a phonetic 
etymology, founded upon mere resemblance of sounds, 
as those of his predecessors. The MSS. left by George 
Chalmers show how he set about preparing his etymo- 
logies, and we now know the process he went through. 
He had himself no knowledge of either branch of the 
Celtic language, but he sent his list of names to 
Dr. Owen Pughe ; and that most ingenious of all 
Welsh lexicographers, who was capable of reducing 
every word in every known language in the world to 
a Welsh original, sent him a list of Welsh renderings 
of each word, varying from twelve to eighteen in 
number, out of which Chalmers selected the one which 
seemed to him most promising. His other etymologies 
are equally founded on a mere resemblance of sounds 
between the modern form of the word and the modem 
Welsh, as those of the clergy in the Statistical Account 
were between the modem form of the word and the 
modern Gaelic. 

That system of interpreting the names of places, 
which I have called phonetic etymology, is, however, 
utterly unsound. It can lead only to fanciful render- 
ings, and is incapable of yielding any results that are 
either certain or important. Names of places are, in 


fact, sentences or combinations of words originally 
expressive of the characteristics of the place named, 
and applied to it by the people who then occupied 
the country, in the language spoken by them at the 
time, and are necessarily subject to the same philo- 
logical laws which governed that spoken language. 
The same rules must be applied in interpreting a 
local ^name as in rendering a sentence of the lan- 
guage. That system, therefore, of phonetic etymology 
which seeks for the interpretation of a name in mere 
resemblance of sound to words in an existing language, 
overlooks entirely the fact that such names were fixed 
to certain localities at a much earlier period, when the 
language spoken by those who applied the name must 
have differed greatly from any spoken language of the 
present day. 

Since the local names were deposited in the 
country, the language itself from which they were 
derived has gone through a process of change, corrup- 
tion, and decay. Words have altered their forms — 
sounds have varied — forms have become obsolete, and 
new forms have arisen ; and the language in its pre- 
sent state no longer represents that form of it which 
existed when the local nomenclature was formed. The 
topographical expressions, too, go through a process of 
change and corruption, till they diverge still further 
firom the spoken form of the language as it now exists. 
This process of change and corruption in the local 
names varies according to the change in the population. 
Wlien the population has remained unchanged, and 

VOL. I. L 


the language in which the names were applied is still 
the spoken language of the district, the names either 
remain in their original shape, in which case they 
represent an older form of the same language, or else 
they undergo a change analogous to that of the 
spoken language. Obsolete names disappear as obso- 
lete words drop out of the language, and are replaced 
by more modern vocables. Where there has been a 
change in the population, and the older race are 
replaced by a people speaking a kindred dialect, the 
names of places are subjected to the dialectic change 
which characterises the language. There are some 
striking instances of this where a British form has 
been superseded by a Gaelic form, as, for instance, 
KirkintuUoch, the old name of which, Nennius informs 
us, was Caerpentalloch, hin beiug the Gaelic equivalent 
of the Welsh pen ; Penicuik, the old name of which 
was Peniacop ; Kincaid, the old name of which was 

When, however, the new language introduced by 
the change of population is one of a different family 
entirely, then the old name is stereotyped in the shape 
in which it was when the one language superseded the 
other, becomes unintelligible to the people, and under- 
goes a process of change and corruption of a purely 
phonetic character, which often entirely alters the 
aspect of the name. In the former cases it is chiejfly 
necessary to apply the plulologic laws of the language 
to its analysis. In the latter, which is the case with 
the Celtic topography of the low country, it is necessary. 


before attempting to analyse the name, to ascertain its 
most ancient form, which often differs greatly from its 
more modem aspect. 

It is with this class of names we have mainly to 
do, as presenting the phenomena I am anxious to 

When the topography of a country is examined, 
its local names will be found, as a general rule, to 
consist of what may be called generic terms and 
specific terms. What I mean by generic terms are 
those parts of the name which are common to a large 
number of them, and are descriptive of the general 
character of the place named ; and by specific terms, 
those other parts of the name which have been added 
to distinguish one place from another. The generic 
terms are usually general words for river, mountain, 
valley, plain, etc. ; the specific terms, those words 
added to distinguish one river or mountain from 
another. Thus, in the Gaelic name Glenmore, glen 
is the generic term, and is found in a numerous class 
of words ; more, great, the specific, a distinguished 
term, to distinguish it from another called Glenbeg. 
In the Saxon term Oakfield, field is the generic term, 
and oak the specific, to distinguish it from Broomfield, 

When the names of places are applied to purely 
natural objects, such as rivers, mountains, etc., which 
remain unchanged by the hand of man, the names 
applied by the original inhabitants are usually adopted 
by their successors, though speaking a different Ian- 


guage ; but the generic term frequently undergoes a 

phonetic corruption, as in the Lowlands, where Aber has 

in many cases become Ar, as in Arbroath, Arbuthnot ; 

Ballin has become Ban, as in Bandoch ; Pettin has 

become Pen, as in Pendriech ; Pol has become Pow ; 

and Traver has become Tar and Tra, as in Tranent. 

On the other hand, where the districts have been 

occupied by different branches of the same race, speaking 

different dialects, the generic terms exhibit the dialectic 

differences when the sounds of the word are such as 

to require the dialectic change ; thus in Welsh and 

Gaehc : — 

Pen and Ceann — a head, 

Gwynn and Fionn — white, 

show the phonetic difference between these dialects. 

The comparison of the generic terms which pervade 

the topography of a country affords a very important 

means of indicating the race of its early inhabitants, 

and discriminating between the different branches of 

the race to which the respective portions of it belong. 

It was early observed that there existed in the Celtic 

generic terms a difference which seemed to indicate 

dialectic distinction. Even in the Old Statistical 

Account, the minister of the parish of Kirkcaldy 

remarks — 

" To the Gaelic language a great proportion of the names of 
places in the neighbourhood, and indeed through the whole of 
Fife, may unquestionably be traced. All names of places 
beginning with Bal, Col or Cul, Dal, Drum, Dun, Inch, Inver, 
Auchter, Kil, Kin, Glen, Mon, and Strath, are of Gaelic origin. 
Those beginning with Aber and Pit are supposed to be Pictish 



names, and do not occur beyond the territory which the Picts 
are thought to have inhabited," 

Chalmers states it still more broadly and minutely. 
He says — 

" Of those words which form the chief compounds in many of 
the Celtic names of places in the Lowlands, some are exclusively 
British, as Aber, Llan, Caer, Pen, Cors, and others ; some are 
common to both British and Irish, as Cam, Craig, Crom, Bre, 
Dal, Eaglis, Glas, Inis, Rinn, Ros, Strath, Tor, Tom, Glen ; and 
many more are significant only in the Scoto-Irish or Gaelic, as 
Ach, Aid, Ard, Aird, Auchter, Bar, Blair, Ben, Bog, Clach, Corry, 
Cul, Dun, Drum, Fin, Glac, Inver, Kin, Kil, Knoc, Larg, Lurg, 
Lag, Logie, Lead, Letter, Lon, Loch, Meal, Pit, Pol, Stron, Tullach, 
Tullie, and others." 

This attempt at classification is, however, ex- 
ceedingly inaccurate. Two of the words in the first 
class, Llan and Caer, are common to both British and 
Irish ; and a large portion of the third class are signi- 
ficant in pure Irish, as well as in the Scoto-Irish or 
Gaelic. No attempt is made to show, by the geo- 
graphical distribution of these words, in what parts of 
the country the respective elements prevail. 

ITie most popular view of the subject, and that 
which has recently been most insisted in, is the line of 
demarcation between a Cymric and a GaeUc population, 
supposed to be indicated by the occurrence of the words 
Aber and Inver. This view has been urged with great 
force by Kemble, in his A nglo-Saxons ; but I may quote 
the recent work of Mr. Isaac Taylor, on words and 
places, as containing a fair statement of the popular 
view of the subject : — 


" To establish the point that the Picts, or the nation, what- 
ever was its name, that held central Scotland, was Cymric, not 
Gaelic, we may refer to the distinction already mentioned between 
Ben and Pen. Ben is confined to the west and north ; Pen to 
the east and south. Inver and Aher are also useful test-words in 
discriminating between the two branches of the Celts. The 
difference between the two words is dialectic only ; the etymology 
and the meaning is the same — a confluence of waters, either of 
two rivers or of a river with the sea. Aber occurs repeatedly in 
Brittany, and is found in about fifty Welsh names, as Aberdare, 
Abergavenny, Abergele, Aberystwith, and Barmouth, a corruption 
of Abermaw. In England we find Aheiior^ in Yorkshire, and 
Berwick in Northumberland and Sussex ; and it has been thought 
that the name of the Humber is a corruption of the same root. 
Inver, the Erse and Gaelic forms, is common in Ireland, where 
Aher is unknown. Thus, we find places called Inver in Antrim, 
Donegal, Mayo, and Invermore in Galway and in Mayo. In 
Scotland the Inver s and Ahers are distributed in a curious and 
instructive manner. If we draw a line across the map from a 
point a little south of Inveraray to one a little north of Aberdeen, 
we shall find that (with very few exceptions) the Invers lie to the 
north of the line and the Abers to the south of it. This hne 
nearly coincides with the present southern limit of the Gaelic 
tongue, and probably also with the ancient division between the 
Picts and the Scots." 

Nothing can be more inaccurate than this state- 
ment. Ben is by no means confined to the west and 
north ; and as examples of Pen he refers, among 
others, to the Pentland Hills, Pentland being a Saxon 
word, and corrupted from Pectland ; and to Pendriech 
in Perthshire, which is a corruption from Pittendriech. 
So far from Inver being common in Ireland, it is 
very rare. The Index locorum of the Annals of the 
Four Masters shows only six instances. On the other 
hand, Aber is not unknown in Ireland. It certainly 


existed formerly to some extent in the north of 
Ireland ; and Dr. Eeeves produces four instances near 

The statement with regard to the distribution of 
Aber and Inver in Scotland here is, that there is a line 
of demarcation which separates the two words — that, 
with few exceptions, there is nothing but Invers on 
one side of this line, nothing but Abers on the other ; 
and that this line extends from a point a little south of 
Inveraray to a point a little north of Aberdeen. This 
is the mode in which the distribution of these two 
words is usually represented, but nothing can be more 
perfectly at variance with the real state of the case. 
South of this line there are as many Invers as Abers. 
In Perthshire, south of the Highland line, there are 
nine Abers and eight Invers ; in Fifeshire, four Abers 
and nine Invers ; in Forfar, eight Abers and eight 
Invers ; in Aberdeenshire, thirteen Abers and twenty- 
six Invers. Again, on the north side of this supposed 
line of demarcation, where it is said that Invers alone 
should be found, there are twelve Abers, extending 
across to the west coast, till they terminate with Aber- 
crossan, now Applecross, in Ross-shire. In Argyll- 
shire alone there are no Abers. The true picture of 
the distribution of these two words is — in Argyllshire, 
Invers alone ; in Inverness and Ross shires, Invers and 
Abers in the proportion of three to one and two to 
one ; and on the south side of this supposed line, 
Abers and Invers in about equal proportions. 

Again he says, quoting Chalmers, " The process of 


change is shown by an old charter, in which King 
David grants to the monks of May * Inverin qui 
fuit Aberin.' So Abernethy became Invemethy, 
although the old name is now restored." In order to 
produce the antithesis of Inverin and Aberin, one 
letter in this charter has been altered. The charter is 
a grant of " Petneweme et Inverin quae fuit Averin ; " 
and I have the authority of the first charter antiquary 
in Scotland for saying that this construction is im- 
possible : " quae fuit " does not, in charter Latin, mean 
" which was," but " which belonged to," and Averin 
was the name of the previous proprietor of the lands. 
Abernethy and Invemethy are not the same place, and 
the former never lost its name. Invemethy is at the 
junction of the Nethy with the Earn, and Abernethy 
is a mile further up the river. 

When we examine these Abers and Invers more 
closely, we find, 1st, that in some parts of the country 
they appear to alternate, as in Fife — Inverkeithing, 
Aberdour, Inveryne, Abercrombie, Inverlevin, and so 
forth ; 2d, That some of the Invers and Abers have the 
same specific terms attached to them, as Abernethy and 
Invemethy, Aberuchill and Inveruchill, Abercrumbye 
and Invercrumbye, Abergeldie and Invergeldie ; and 
3d, That the Invers are always at the mouth of the 
river, close to its junction with another river, or with 
the sea ; and the Abers usually a little distance up the 
river where there is a ford. Thus Invemethy is at the 
mouth of the Nethy ; Abernethy a mile or two above. 
These and other facts lead to the conclusion that they 



are part of the same nomenclature, and belong to the 
same period and to the same people. 

"When we look to the south of the Forth, however, 
we find this remarkable circumstance that in Ayrshire, 
Eenfrew, and Lanarkshire, which formed the posses- 
sions of the Strathclyde Britons, and were occupied by 
a British people till as late a period as the more 
northern districts were occupied by the Picts, there are 
no Abers at all. What we have, therefore, is the Scots 
of Argyll with nothing but Invers, the Picts with 
Abers and Invers together, and the Strathclyde Britons 
with no Abers. 

As a mark of discrimination between races this 
criterion plainly breaks down, and the words them- 
selves contain no sounds which, from the different 
phonetic laws of the languages, could afford an indica- 
tion of a dialectic difference. The truth is, that there 
were three words expressive of the junction of one 
stream with another, and all formed from an old Celtic 
word, Ber, signifying water. These were A her, Tnver, 
and Conher (pronounced in Welsh cummer, in Gaelic 
cumber). These three words were originally common to 
both branches of the Celtic as derivations from one 
common word. In old Welsh poems we find not only 
Aber as a living word in Welsh, but Ynver likewise.* 
and Dr. Eeeves notices an Irish document in which 
Applecross or Appurcrossan is called Conber Crossan. 
Ynver, however, became obsolete in Welsh, just as 
Cummer or Cumber and Aber became obsolete in Irish ; 
* Ynver occurs twice in the Book of Taliessin 


but we have no reason to know that it did so in Pictish. 
In the Pictish districts, therefore, the Abers and Invers 
were deposited when both were living words in the 
language. When the Scots settled in Argyll, Aber had 
become obsolete in their language, and Inver was alone 
deposited, and in Strathclyde both words seem to have 
gone into desuetude. 

In the same manner Dwfr or Dwr, is quoted as a 
word for water, peculiar to the Welsh form of Celtic, 
and an invariable mark of the presence of a British 
people, but the old form of this word in Scotland was 
Doboir, as appears from the Book of Deer, where Aber- 
dour is written Ahher-dohoir, and in Cormac's Glos- 
sary of the old Irish, Dohoir is given as an old Irish 
word for water. In another old Irish glossary we have 
this couplet : — 

" Bior and An and Dobar, 
The three names of the water of the world." 

These words, therefore, form no criterion of differ- 
ence of race, and to judge by them is to fall into the 
mistake of the phonetic etymologists — viz. to apply to 
old names, as the key, the present spoken language, 
which does not contain words which yet existed in it 
in its older form. 

In order to make generic terms a test of dialect, 
they must be words which contain sounds affected 
differently by the different phonetic laws of such 
dialects — such as Pen, Gwynn, Gwern, and Gwydd 
which all enter copiously into Welsh topography, 
and the equivalents of which in the Gaelic dialects 




are Ceann, Fionn, Fearn, and Fiodh. Such generic 
terms afford a test by which we can at once 
determine whether the Celtic topography of a 
country partakes most of the Cymric or the Gaelic 
character. The earliest collection of names in North 
Britain is to be found in Ptolemy's Geography in the 
second century, but we know too little of the origin of 
his names, whether they were native terms, or names 
applied by the invaders, to obtain from them any cer- 
tain result. After Ptolemy, the largest collection of 
names in Great Britain is in the work of the anony- 
mous geographer of Eavenna, a work of the seventh 
century. The exact localities are not given, but the 
names are grouped according to the part of Britain to 
which they belong. Those which commence the topo- 
graphy of Scotland are placed under this title : — 
" Iterum sunt civitates in ipsa Britannia quae recto 
tramite de una parte in alia, id est, de oceano in oceano 
existunt, ac dividunt in tertia portione ipsam Britan- 
niam." They commence with the stations on the 
Koman waU between the Tyne and the Solway, and 
then proceed northwards. Among these we find two 
names together, Tadoriton and Maporiton, and as Tad 
and Map are Cymric forms for father and son, we have 
no doubt that here we are on the traces of a Cymric 
population. The next group is arranged under this 
head : — " Iterum sunt civitates in ipsa Britannia recto 
tramite una alteri conexae, ubi et ipsa Britannia plus 
angustissima de oceano in oceano esse dinoscitur." 
This part of Britain, which is plus angustissima, is the 


isthmus between the Forth and the Clyde, and in pro- 
ceeding with the names northwards we come to one 
called Cindocellum. The Ocelli Montes were the 
Ochills, and here the Gaelic form of Kin is equally un- 
mistakable. When we apply to the present topography 
the testing words Pen, Gwynn, Gwern, and Gwydd, the 
Gaelic equivalents of which are Kin, Fionn, Fearn, and 
Fiodh, we find that, with one exception. Pen, though 
frequent south of the Forth, where there was a British 
population, does not occur north of the Forth, while it 
is full of Kins, and Gwynn, Gwern, and Gwydd occur 
only in their Gaelic equivalents. 

Such then being the aspect in which the question 
really presents itself, it becomes important, with a 
view to ethnological results, to ascertain more closely 
the geographical distribution of the generic terms over 
Scotland, and in order to show this I have prepared a 
table of such distribution. The generic terms are taken 
from the index to the Scottish Eecord of Retours ; and 
as this record relates to properties, and not to mere 
natural objects, the generic terms they contain are to 
a great extent confined to names of places connected 
with their possession by man, and more readily affected 
by changes in the population. For the purposes of 
comparison, I have framed a list of generic terms con- 
tained in Irish topography from the index to the 
Annals of the Four Masters, and of those in Welsh 
topography from a list in the Cambrian Register. I 
have divided Scotland into thirteen districts, so as to 
show the local character of the topography of each 


part of Scotland, and opposite each generic term in 
Scotch topography is marked — Is^, if it occurs in 
Ireland, and how often ; 2c?, if it occurs in Wales ; 
and 3c?, I have marked the number of times it occur 
in each district of Scotland from the Index of Retours. 

On examining this table, it will be seen that there 
are five terms peculiar to the districts occupied by the 
Picts. These are Auchter, Pit, Pitten, For, and Fin. 
Now none of these five terms are to be found in Welsh 
topography at all, and For and Fin are obviously 
Gaelic forms. 

It is necessary, however, in examining these terms, 
which may be called Pictish, to ascertain their old 
form. Auchter appears to be the Gaelic Uachter^ 
upper ; and as such we have it in Ireland, and in the 
same form, as in Scotland Ochtertire, in Ireland Uach- 
tertire. It does not occur in Wales. 

The old form of Pit and Pitten, as appears from 
the Book of Deer, is Pette, and it seems to mean a 
portion of land, as it is conjoined with proper names, 
as Pette MacGarnait, Pette Malduib. But it also 
appears connected with Gaelic specific terms, as Pette 
an Mulenn, the Pette of the Mill, and in a charter of 
the Chartulary of St. Andrews, of the church of 
Migvie, the terra ecclesise is said to be vocatus Petten- 
taggart — "an taggart" being the Gaelic form of the 
expression " of the priest." 

The old forms of For and Fin are Fothuir and 
Fothen. The old form of Forteviot is Fothuir- 
tabaicht, and of Finhaven is Fothen-evin. The first 


of these words, however, discloses a very remark- 
able dialectic difference. Fothuir becomes For, as 
Fothuir-tabacht is Forteviot ; Fothuir-duin is For- 
dun ; but Fothuir likewise passes into Fetter, as 
Fothuiresach becomes Fetteresso ; and these two 
forms are found side by side, Fordun and Fetteresso 
being adjacent parishes. The form of For extends 
from the Forth to the Moray Firth — that of Fetter 
from the Esk, which separates Forfar and Kincardine, 
to the Moray Firth. 

An examination of some other generic terms will 
disclose a perfectly analogous process of change. The 
name for a river is Amhuin. The word is the same 
as the Latin Amnis. The old Gaelic form is Amuin, 
and the m, by aspiration, becomes mil, whence Amhuin, 
pronounced Avon. In the oldest forms of the lan- 
guage the consonants are not aspirated, but we have 
these two forms, both the old unaspirated form and 
the more recent aspirated form, in our topography, 
lying side by side in the two parallel rivers which 
bound Linlithcrowshire — the Amond and the Avon. 
There is also the Amond in Perthshire. We know 
from the Pictish Chronicle that the old name was 
Aman, and the Avon, with its aspirated m, is men- 
tioned in the Saxon Chronicle. It is a further proof 
that Inver is as old as Aber in the eastern districts, 
that we find Aman in its old form conjoined with 
Inver in the Pictish Chronicle in the name " Inveraman." 

In Dumbartonshire we find the names Lomond and 
Leven together. We have Loch Lomond and Ben 


Lomond, with the river Leven flowing out of the loch 
through Strathleven ; but we have the same names in 
connection in Fifeshire, where we have Loch Leven 
with the two Lomonds on the side of it, and the river 
Leven flowing from it through Strathleven. This 
recurrence of the same words in connection would be 
unaccountable, were it not an example of the same 
thing. Leven comes from the Gaelic Leamhan, signi- 
fying an elm-tree, but the old form is Leoman, and the 
m becomes aspirated in a later stage of the language 
and forms Leamhan, pronounced Leven. Here the 
old form adheres to the mountain, while the river 
adopts the more modem. 

A curious illustration of two different terms lying 
side by side, which are derived from the same word 
undergoing different changes, will be found in Forfar- 
shire, where the term Llan for a church appears, as in 
Lantrethin. It is a phonetic law between Latin and 
Celtic, that words beginning in the former with pi 
are in the latter II. The word Planum, in Latin 
signifying any cultivated spot, in contradistinction 
from a desert spot, and which, according to Ducange, 
came to signify Cimiterium, becomes in Celtic Llan, 
the old meaning of which was a fertile spot, as well as 
a church. In the inquisition, in the reign of David L, 
into the possessions of the See of Glasgow, we find the 
word in its oldest form in the name Planmichael, now 
Carmichael ; and as we find Ballin corrupted into Ban, 
as Ballindoch becomes Bandoch, so Plan becomes cor- 
rupted into Pan, and we find it in this form likewise 


in Forfarshire, Panmure and Panbride. In the 
Lothians and the Merse this word has become Long, 
as in Longnewton and Longniddrie. 

The Celtic topography of Scotland thus resembles 
a palimpsest, in which an older form is found behind 
the more modern writing. I shall not lengthen this 
chapter by going through other examples. The exist- 
ence of the phenomenon is sufficiently indicated by 
those I have brought forward, and I shall conclude by 
stating shortly the results of this investigation. 

1st, In order to draw a correct inference from the 
names of places as to the ethnological character of the 
people who imposed them, it is necessary to obtain 
the old form of the name before it became corrupted, 
and to analyse it according to the philological laws of 
the language to which it belongs. 

2d, A comparison of the generic terms affords the 
best test for discriminating between the different 
dialects to which they belong, and for this comparison 
it is necessary to have a correct table of their geo- 
graphical distribution. 

Sd, Difference between the generic terms in 
different parts of the country may arise from their 
belonging to a different stage of the same language, or 
from a capricious selection of different synonyms by 
separate tribes of the same race. 

4^A, In order to afford a test for discriminating 
between dialects, the generic terms must contain 
within them those sounds which are differently 
affected by the phonetic laws of each dialect. 


bth, Applying this test, the generic terms do not 
show the existence of a Cymric language north of the 

Qth, We find in the topography of the north-east 
of Scotland traces of an older and of a more recent 
form of Gaelic — ^the one preferring labials and dentals, 
and the other gutturals ; the one hardening the -con- 
sonants into tenues — the other softening them by 
aspiration ; the one having Abers and Invers — and the 
other having Invers alone ; the one a low Gaelic dialect 
— the other a high Gaelic dialect ; the one I conceive 
the language of the Picts — the other that of the 
Scots. "^^ 

* The substance of these three chapters has already appeared in a 
different shape in the Archceologia Cambrensis, and the last in the 
Transactions of the Royal Society. They were written with a view to 
this work. 

VOL. I. M 








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The districts comprehended at an early period under 
the name of Cumbria were of considerable extent ; and, 
as its name indicates, occupied by a Cymric population. 
Joceline, who wrote about the year 1180, in his 
life of Kentigern, states that the limits of his bishopric 
were coextensive with those of the " regio Cambrensis," 
and extended from the Roman wall to the "flumen 
Fordense;" but it originally extended even further 
south than this, for Joceline was judging by the 
extent of the diocese of Glasgow, and Carlisle and the 
district surrounding it had, after the Norman Con- 
quest of England, been formed into an earldom, and 
in 1132 erected into the diocese of Carlisle. In a 
document printed in the lolo MSS., the extent of many 
of the old Welsh districts is given, and the district of 
Teymllwg is said to have extended from Aerven to 
Argoed Derwennydd — that is, to the Forest upon 
the Derwent. This river, which falls into the Western 
Sea at Workington, now divides the diocese of Chester 
from that of Carlisle; and as soon as we pass the 
Derwent, dedications of churches to Kentigern com- 
mence. The district south of the Derwent had very 
early come under the power of the kings of North- 


umberland, and the independent states of the Cymry 
probably extended from the Derwent and from Stan- 
more to the Clyde, including Westmoreland (with the 
exception of Kendal), and the central districts in Scot- 
land, of Teviotdale, Selkirk, and Tweeddale. It com- 
prehended what afterwards formed the dioceses of 
Glasgow and Carlisle ; and its Cymric population 
appears as a distinct people, even as late as the battle 
of the Standard, in 1130, where they formed one of 
the battalions in King David's army, consisting of the 
Cumbrenses and Tevidalenses. 

They appear to have been composed of numerous 
small states under their petty kings. 

There is a document in one of the Hengwrt MSS., 
transcribed about 1300, with the title of Bonhed 
Gwyr y Gogledd, or Genealogies of the Men of the 
North — a name used to designate these Northern 
Cymry. It gives the pedigrees of twelve families, and 
they fall into three groups — one consisting of six 
families, whose descent is traced from Ceneu, son of 
Coel ; the second, of five families descended from 
Dyfnwal Hen, or the aged, grandson of Macsen Guledig, 
the Eoman Emperor ; and the third, of one family 
connected with the north, apparently through the 
female line. The first group again falls into two 
branches respectively derived from two sons of Ceneu, 
son of Coel, Gorwst Ledlwm, and Mar or Mor. To 
Merchion Gul, the son of Gorwst Ledlwm, are given 
two sons — Cynvarch, the father of Urien and Elidir 
Lydanwyn, father of Llywarch Hen. To Garth wys 



or Arthwys, son of Mor, are given four sons — Ceidiaw, 
the father of Gwenddolew, Nudd, and Gov; Elivir 
Gosgorddvawr, or of the large retinue, the father of 
Gwrgi and Peredur ; Pabo Post Prydain, or the pillar of 
Britain, the father of Sawyl Benuchel, Dunawd Vawr, 
and Carwyd ; and Cynvelyn, the grandfather, by his 
son Cynwyd Cynwydion, of Clyddno Eiddyn, Cynan 
Genhir, Cad rod Calchvynydd, and Cynvelyn Drwsgl. 

The second group, consisting of the descendants of 
Dyfnwal Hen, also falls into four branches, descended 
of four sons of Dyfnwal Hen : — Cedig, father of Tudwal 
Tudclud, the father of Eydderch Hael, SenyUt, father 
of Nudd Hael, and Servan, father of Mordav ; Gar- 
wynwyn, father of Caurdav, father of Gwyddno 
Garanhir ; Aeddan Vradog ; and Gorwst Briodawr, 
father of Elidr Mwynvawr. 

The genealogies annexed to Nennius in 977 do not 
greatly differ from this. In the first group of famihes 
descended from Coel they add the pedigrees of two 
additional families — that of Gwallawg ap Leenawg and 
of Morcant. In the second group, the most important 
variation is that the descent of Dyfnwal Hen, the 
common ancestor, is not brought from Macsen Guledig, 
but from a Caredig Guledic, whose pedigree is taken 
back to a Confer the Eich ; and that the descent of the 
later kings of Strathclyde from Dyfnwal Hen is given. 

Adding, therefore, the two additional families de- 
scended from Coel, we have • eight in the first group, 
and five in the second — in all, thirteen ; and the fol- 
lowing tables will show their connection : — 







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It is, of course, not maintained tliat these gene- 
alogies are, strictly speaking, historical, and that each 
link in the pedigree represents a real person ; but they 
are valuable as conveying a general idea of the period, 
and tribal connection of these " Gwyr y Gogledd," or 
Men of the North. The thirteen families no doubt re- 
presented as many petty states in Cumbria ; and in the 
two groups we can see the mixture of two races — the 
provincial Eoman and the native Cymric — and the 
small septs into which they were respectively divided. 

There are indications, derived from their names, 
their history, and from local tradition, which con- 
nect most of these families with localities within 
the limits of Cumbria. Beginning with the first 
group, Ayrshire — divided into the three districts 
of Cuninghani, Kyle, and Carrick — seems to have 
been the main seat of the families of the race of 
Coel, from whom indeed the district of Coel, now 
Kyle, is said traditionally to have taken its name. 
There is every reason to believe that Boece, in filling 
up the reigns of his phantom kings with imaginary 
events, used local traditions where he could find 
them ; and he tells us "Kyi dein proxima est vel 
Coil potius nominata, a Coilo Britannorum rege ibi in 
pugna cseso ;" and a circular mound at Coilsfield, in 
the parish of Tarbolton, on the highest point of which 
are two large stones, and in which sepulchral remains 
have been found, is pointed out by local tradition as 
his tomb. He likewise connects two of his early kings 
with this part of the country. These are Caractacus and 


Corbrediis Galdus, son of his brother Corbredus. He 
identifies the first with the British king Caractacus, and 
the second with Galgacus, who fought against Agricola ; 
but he says of them — " Horum quae de Carataco, Cor- 
bredo ac Galdo Scotorum regibus, his voluminibus me- 
morise dedimus, nonulla ex nostris annalihus, at longe 
uberiora ex Cornelio Tacito sunt deprompta." While 
adapting the events from Tacitus, he Hkewise made use 
of native traditions. His Caratacus is obviously the 
name Caradawg ; and his Galdus I believe to be taken 
from Gwallawg ap Lleenawg. It is curious that these 
two warriors of the " Gwyr y Gogledd" should have the 
same relationship of uncle and nephew. Now he 
says that in Carrick, one of the three divisions of 
Ayrshire, and lying to the south of Kyle, " erat 
civitas tum maxima a qua Caractani regio videtur 
nomen sortita. In ea Caratacus natus, nutritus, 
educatus." Of Galdus or GwaUawg he says that, on 
his death, " Elatum est corpus ... in vicino campi ut 
vivens mandaverat, est conditum ubi ornatissimum 
ei monumentum patrio more, immensis ex lapidibus 
est erectum." Symson, in his Description of Gallo- 
way, written in 1684, says — " In the highway between 
Wigton and Portpatrick, about three miles westward 
of Wigton, is a plaine called the Moor of the Standing 
Stones of Torhouse, in which there is a monument of 
three large whinstones, called King Galdus's tomb 
surrounded, at about twelve feet distance, with nine- 
teen considerable great stones, but none of them so 
great as the three first mentioned, erected in a circum- 


ference." And a similar monument is described in a 
MS. quoted by Dr. Jamieson, in his edition of Bellen- 
den's Boece, as existing in Carrick : — " There is 3 
werey grate heapes of stonnes, callit wulgarley the 
Kernes of Blackinney, being the name of the village 
and ground. At the suthermost of thir 3 caimes 
are ther 13 great tall stonnes, standing upright in a 
perfyte circkle, aboute some 3 ells ane distaunt from 
ane other, with a gret heighe stonne in the midle, 
which is werily esteemid be the most learned in- 
habitants to be the buriall place of King Caractacus." 
The names of Caradawg and of Gwallawg seem, 
therefore, connected with the distiict of Carrick and 
that of Wigton, extending between Carrick and the 
Solway Firth. 

Gwenddolew, the son of Ceidiaw, is clearly con- 
nected with Ardderyd, now Arthuret, where his name 
stiU remains in Carwhinelow; and between this and 
the southern boundary of Cumbria, at the Derwent, 
others of the descendants of Coel may have had their 
seat. We have Urien connected with the district at the 
northern wall, termed Mureif or Reged, in which Loch 
Lomond was situated. And of the family of Cynwyd 
Cynwydion one son, Clyddno Eiddyn, is connected by 
his name with Eiddyn or Caer Eiddyn, now Caredin, 
termed in the Capitula of Gildas " civitas antiquis- 
sima ; " and another, Catrawd Calchvynyd, with Kelso. 
Galchvynyd is simply Calch Mountain, or chalk moun- 
tain; and Chalmers, in his Caledonia (vol. ii. p. 156), 
says : " It (Kelso) seems to have derived its an- 


cient name of Calchow from a calcareous eminence 
which appears conspicuous in the middle of the town, 
and which is still called the Chalk Heugh." 

The other group of families descended from 
Dyfnwal Hen are not so easily placed, as they soon 
acquired the supremacy over the whole region, but it 
is probable that they were more immediately connected 
with the central districts, Annandale, Clydesdale, 
Teviotdale, Yarrow, Selkirk, and Tweeddale. After 
Kentigern was recalled to Cumbria, it is stated by 
Joceline that he placed his episcopal seat for some time 
at Hoddelm or Hoddom in Annandale, where Ryd- 
derch's power may have been greatest, and his father's 
name of Tutgiial Tutclud seems to connect him with 
the " flumen Clud," probably the upper part, as we read 
in the acts of St. Kentigern of a " regina de Caidzow" 
or Cadyow, the old name of the middle district of the 
vale of the Clyde, which indicates a separate smaU state. 

Between Strathclyde and Ayrshire lay the district 
of Strathgryf, now the county of Eenfrew, and this part 
of Cumbria seems to have been the seat of the family of 
Caw, commonly called Caw Cawlwydd or Caw Prydyn, 
one of whose sons was GHdas. In one of the lives of 
Gndas he is said to be son of Caunus who reigned in 
Arecluta. In the old description of Scotland we are 
told that Aregaithel means Margo Hibernensium. The 
name Arecluta is similarly composed, and signifies a 
district lying along the Clyde, and Strathgrife or Ren- 
frewshire lies in its whole extent along the south bank 
of the Clyde. In the life of St. Cadocus a singular 


legend is preserved. He is said to have visited Scot- 
land, and while he was building a monastery there 
near the mountain Bannawe he found the grave of a 
giant, who rose and informed him that he was Caw of 
Prydyn, and that he had been a king who reigned be- 
yond the mountain Bannawe, and in another legend 
we are told that this monastery was in regione Lin- 
theamus {Lives of Gambro British Saints). Now the 
parish of Cambuslang, on the Clyde, is dedicated to St. 
Cadoc, and through the adjoining parish of Carmunnock, 
formerly Carmannock, runs a range of hiUs, now called 
the Cathkin hills, which separates Strathclyde from Ayr- 
shire and terminates in Eenfrewshire. This must be 
the mountain Bannawe, and the name is preserved in 
Carmannock, B passing into M in Welsh in combina- 
tion, and Caw is thus represented in this legend also 
as reigning in Strathgryf or Eenfrewshire. The name 
Lintheamus is probably meant for Linthcamus or Cam- 

There is a curious legend preserved in the Vene- 
dotian code of the old Welsh laws, which is as follows : 

" Here Elidyr Muhenvaur, a man from the north was slain ; 
and, after his death, the " Gwyr y Gogled," or Men of the North, 
came here to avenge him. The chiefs, their leaders, were Clyddno 
Eiddin ; Nudd Hael, son of Senyllt ; and Mordaf Hael, son of 
Seruari, and Eydderch Hael, son of Tudwal Tudglyd ; and they 
came to Arvon, and because Elidyr was slain at Aber Mewydus 
in Arvon, they burned Arvon as a further revenge. And then 
Run, son of Maelgwn, and the men of Gwynedd, assembled in 
arms, and proceeded to the banks of the Gweryd " yn y Gogledd," 
or in the north, and there they were long disputing who should 
take the lead through the river Gweryd. Then Eun despatched 



a messenger to Gwynedd to ascertain who was entitled to the 
lead : some say that Maeldaf the elder, the Lord of Penardd, 
adjudged it to the men of Arvon ; Joruerth, the son of Madog, on 
the authority of his own information, affirms that Idno the aged 
assigned it to the men of the black-headed shafts. And there- 
upon the men of Arvon advanced in the van, and were valorous 
there. And Taliessin sang — 

" Behold ! from the ardency of their blades. 
With Rim, the reddener of armies, 
The men of Arvon with their ruddy lances." 

Old Welsh Laws, p. 50. 

Elidyr M\vynvaA\T was the head of one of the 
families descended from Dyfnwal Hen, and so were 
Rydderch Hael, Nudd Hael, and Mordav Hael, and 
Clyddno Eiddyn was of the race of Coel. They are 
caUed " Gwyr y Gogledd," or Men of the North, and 
the scene of the dispute as to who should lead was the 
banks of the river Forth, for the river Gweryd in the 
north is the Forth, it having been, according to the 
old description of 1165, called, " Britannice, Weryd." 

The author of the Genealogia annexed to Nennius 
describes four of these kings of the north— Urien, 
Rydderch, Gwallawg, and Morcant — as warring against 
Hussa, son of Ida, the king of Bemicia, who reigned 
from 567 to 574 ; and the battle of Ardderyd, fought 
in 573, by which the anti-Christian party were finally 
crushed, resulted in the consolidation of these petty 
states into the kingdom of Cumbria or Strathclyde, 
and the establishment of Rydderch as king in the 
strong fortress of Alclyde or Dumbarton rock, which 
became from henceforth the chief seat of the kingdom. 
Here we find Rydderch estabHshed when he sent a 


message to St. Columba, to consult Mm, as supposed to 
possess prophetic power, whether he should be slain by 
his enemies, as recorded by Adomnan in his Life of St. 
Columba, who calls him " Rex Rodarcus filius Totail 
qui Petra Cloithe regnavit." St. Columba's reply — 
" De eodem rege et regno et populo ejus " — ^was, that 
he would not faU into the hands of his enemies, but 
die in his own house : which prophecy, adds Adomnan, 
was fulfilled, as he died a peaceful death. 

If Joceline reports a real fact, when he says that 
he died in the same year as St. Kentigern, his death 
must have taken place either in the year 603 or 614, 
according to which is the true date of St. Kentigern's 
death;"' and during that time he consolidated his 
power, and re-established the bishopric of Glasgow. 

The chronicle of 977 records, in 580, the death 
of Gwrgi and Peredur, the sons of Eliver Gosgorddvaur, 
another of these northern kings, and, in 593, the death 
of Dunawd, son of Pabo Post Prydain ; and the Gene- 
alogia state that against Theodric, son of Ida, who 
reigned in Bernicia from 580 to 587, Urien with his 
sons fought valiantly, and adds, " In illo tempore ali- 
quando hostes, nunc cives, vincebantur," showing the 
character of the struggle which was taking place between 
the Cymric population and the increasing power of the 

* The Chronicle of 977 places Kentigern's death in 612 ; but the 
Aberdeen Breviary, in the Life of Baldred, places his death on Sunday, 
the 13th January 603. The 13th of January is St. Kentigern's day, 
and it fell upon a Sunday in 603 and also in 614. The first date is 
to be preferred. 


In 603 a great effort appears to liave been made 
by tbe Celtic tribes to drive back the Angles, under 
Aidan, king of the Scots who inhabit Britain, whom 
Bede describes as invading Bemicia with an immense 
and brave army, and being defeated and put to flight 
at Degsastan, now Dawston, in Liddesdale, where almost 
all his army were slain, and he himself escaped with a 
few only of his followers. This disaster must have 
crushed the efforts of the Celtic tribes to resist the 
Angles for the time, and enabled the latter to extend 
their territories unresisted, till in the reign of Edwin 
they reached the shores of the Firth of Forth. 

After the death of Edwin, when Cadwallawn had 
established his power, Tighemac records, in 638, the 
battle of Glenmairison, in which the people of Donald- 
brec were put to flight, " et obsessio Etain," and 
afterwards, in 642, that Donaldbrec was slain in the 
fifteenth year of his reign in the battle of Strathcauin 
by Ohan, king of the Britons, and in the same year a 
battle between Oswy and the Britons. The same tran- 
sactions are repeated at a later date in Tighernac, when 
the first battle is said to have been in Calithros, and 
the second in Strathcam, while the name of the British 
king is given as Haan ; but the first are the true dates. 

Donaldbrec was the king of Dalriada, and the son 
of that Aidan who had been defeated in 603. Glen- 
mairison must not be confounded with the glen called 
Glenmoriston on Loch Ness. It was in Calithros, and 
Calithros appears to have been the same with the dis- 
trict called Calatria, in which Callander is situated. It 

VOL. T. N 


lay between the Carron and the Avon, extending on 
the west at least to the place called Carriden on the 
Avon, and bounded on the east by the Firth of Forth, 
including in its limits the parishes of Kineil and Care- 
den ; and within this district Glenmairison must have 
been situated, though it cannot now be identified. 
Etain was no doubt Eidd}Ti or Caereden, and the upper 
part of the valley of the Carron was called Strath 
Carron, in which there was a royal forest termed in old 
charters Strathcawin. These events then indicate a 
great struggle between Donaldbrec and the Britons, in 
which the former was defeated and finally slain in 642. 
If my conjecture is correct, that Aidan led a combined 
force of Scots and Britons, he was in fact for the time 
performing the functions of Guledig or "Dux Bellorum" 
in the north ; and this struggle probably indicated an 
attempt on the part of Donaldbrec to maintain the 
same position. Who Ohan or Haan was, we do not 
know. He may have been a king of Alclyde and a 
successor of Rydderch, but it is more probable that he 
was no other than Cadwallawn himself, whom Tighernac 
calls Chon, and that the object of the war was whether 
Donald should retain his father's position, or whether 
Cadwallawn, who had now become powerful in the 
south, should extend his supremacy over the north 

* The passages quoted from Tighernac will be found in the Chro- 
nicles of the Picts and Scots, recently published in the series of Scottish 
Records, and an account of Calatria will be found in the introduction, 
p. Ixxx. 


The great defeat of the combined forces of the 
Mercians and Britons in 655 by Oswy, king of North- 
umbria, in which Penda, king of the Mercians, was 
slain, and Cadwallawn escaped with his life, terminated 
the power of the latter, and led to the subjection of 
the Cumbrian Britons to the kings of Northumbria, and 
two years afterwards the Annals of Ulster record the 
death of Gureit or Guriad, king of Alclyde. The sub- 
jection of the Britons to the Angles lasted till the year 
686, when Ecfrid, king of Northumbria, was slain in 
the battle of Dunnichen, and during that time no 
king of Alclyde is recorded. It was also during this 
time that Ecfrid granted to Lindisfarne, Carlisle, with 
territory to the extent of fifteen miles round it ; but 
the result of the defeat and death of Ecfrid was, as 
Bede tells us, that a part of the Britons recovered their 
liberty, and that this part was the British kingdom of 
Cumbria or Strathclyde appears from this, that the 
kings of Alclyde again appear in the Annals as 
independent kings. 

In 694 died Domnall MacAuin rex Alochluaithe, 
and, in 722, Beli filius Elfin rex Alochluaithe. In the 
Welsh pedigrees annexed to Nennius, a genealogy 
is given, in which this Beli, son of Elfin, appears, and 
his descent is there given from Dyfnwal Hen, the an- 
cestor of Eydderch Hael, and stem-father of the second 
group of northern families. 

Although the Britons of Strathclyde had recovered 
their liberty, and the Picts had regained that part of 
the " Provincia Pictorum" north of the Forth which the 


Angles had subjected, it would appear that the Pictish 
population south of the Forth still remained subject 
to them. The Picts of Manann had come under their 
power as early as the reign of Edwyn, and therefore still 
remained within the Anglic kingdom, as appears from 
their subsequently rebelling against its kings ; and 
the Picts of Gralloway seem likewise to have remained 
under their subjection, as Bede tells us that in 731, 
when he closes his history, four bishops presided in the 
province of the Northumbrians, one of whom was 
Pecthelm in the church which is called Candida Casa, 
or Whitehorn, " which," he says, " from the increased 
number of believers, has lately become an additional 
Episcopal see, and has him for its first prelate." This 
implies that Whitehorn still remained in the province 
of the Northumbrians ; and in 750, we are told, in the 
chronicle annexed to Bede, that Ecbert, king of North- 
umbria, " Campum Cyil cum aliis regionibus suo regno 
addidit ;" that is, Kyle and Carrick, which lay between 
it and Galloway, and possibly Cuningham, forming 
modern Ayrshire. 

In the same year, however, a great battle is recorded 
both in the Welsh and the Irish Annals between the 
Britons and the Picts, in which the Picts were defeated, 
and Talorgan, brother of Angus, the king of the Picts, 
slain. The place where this battle was fought is termed 
in the Chronicle of 977, Mocetauc, in the Brut y Saeson, 
Magdawc, and in the JBrut y Tywysogion, Maesydawc. 
Maes is the Welsh equivalent for Magh in Gaelic, 
meaning a plain, and the place meant was no doubt 


Mugdock in the parish of Strathblane, Stirlingshire, the 
ancient seat of the Earls of Lennox. In old charters 
it is spelt Magadavac. In the same year, according to 
the Welsh Chronicle, and two years after, according to 
Tighernac, died Teudwr, son of Bile, king of Alclyde, 
and in 756 Eadbert, king of Northumbria, and Angus, 
king of the Picts, appear to have united their forces, 
and we are told by Simeon of Durham that they led 
their army " ad urbem Alcwith, ibique Brittones inde 
conditionem receperunt, prima die mensis Augusti." 

In 760 the Welsh Chronicle records the death of 
Dungual, son of Teudwr. From this date there is a 
blank in the kings of Alclyde for an entire century — 
the first notice we have of them again being in 872, 
when Arthga "rex Britonum Strathcluaide " is slain, 
" Consilio Constantini filii Cinadon." This Constantine 
was king of the Scots, and Arthga or Arthgal appears 
in the Welsh genealogy as descendant in the fourth 
degree from Dungual. Alclyde is recorded, however, 
in the Annals of Ulster as having been burnt in 780 
and besieged 870 by the Norwegian pirates, who, after 
a siege of four months, took and destroyed it. Accord- 
ing to the Welsh Chronicle, " Arx Alclut a gentilibus 
fracta est." Strathclyde was again ravaged by them in 
875. Arthgal appears to have been succeeded by his 
son Kun, who is called in the Pictish Chronicle " rex 
Britonum," and said to be the father of Eocha, who 
reigned along with Grig, by a daughter of Kenneth 
MacAlpin. This is the last name given in the Welsh 
genealogy, and one of the copies of the Brut y 


Tywysogion lias the foUowing entry in 890, whicla, if 

containing a true fact, will explain this. 

" The men of Stratliclyde who would not unite with the 
Saxons were obliged to leave their country and go to Gwynned, 
and Anarawd (king of Wales) gave them leave to inhabit the 
country taken from him by the Saxons, comprising Maelor, the 
vale of Clwyd, Ehyvoniog, and Tegeingl, if they could drive the 
Saxons out, which they did bravely. And the Saxons came on 
that account a second time against Anarawd, and fought the 
action of Cymryd, in which the Cymry conquered the Saxons 
and drove them wholly out of the country; and so Gwynned 
was freed from the Saxons by the might of the ' Gwyr y Gogledd' 
or Men of the North." 

That the British line of the kings of Strathclyde 
came to an end very soon is certain, for the Pictish 
Chronicle tells us that on the death of Donald " rex 
Britannorum," who must have died between 900 and 
918, " Dunenaldus filiis Ede rex eligitur." He was 
brother to Constantino, the king of the Scots, and thus a 
Scottish line was established in the kingdom of Strath- 
clyde. It must have been so much weakened by the loss 
of Kyle and the other regions wrested from it by the 
Saxons, and the attacks upon it by the Norwegian 
pirates, that we can well believe that a large portion of 
the population fled to Wales for refuge, and that the in- 
fluence of the new and powerful kingdom of the Scots led 
to a prince of that race being placed upon the throne. 

In 946 it was overrun and conquered by Edmund, 
king of Wessex. He bestowed it upon Malcolm, king 
of the Scots, and from this time it became an appanage 
of the Scottish crown. The Saxon historians name 
the region conquered by Edmund as Cumbria, but that 


this kingdom of Stratliclyde is meant, appears from the 
Chronicle of 977, now a contemporary record, which 
has, in 946, "Strat Glut vastata est a Saxonibus." 

It is unnecessary for the purpose of this work to 
follow the history further. Suffice it to say that, in 
the reign of Malcolm Canmore, Carlisle and that part 
of Cumbria south of the Solway Firth belonged to the 
Norman conqueror, and was erected into an earldom 
for one of his followers ; that, on the death of Edgar, 
that part of it which lay north of the Solway Firth 
was given to his brother. Prince David, and on his 
accession to the throne in 1124 became united to the 
Scottish crown; but that its population remained a 
distinct element in the population of Scotland for 
some time after, under the names of Cumbrenses, 
Brits, and Strathclyde Wealas. 




Such then being, so far as we can gather it from the 
scanty materials afforded to us, the real position of the 
Cymric population, and the leading features of their 
history prior to the twelfth century, as well as of their 
Hterature subsequent to that period, the question 
before us is this. What place does this very peculiar 
body of ancient poetry really occupy ? Are we to 
regard them as ancient poems which have come down 
to us from an early period of Cymric literature, and 
possessing from their antiquity an historic value inde- 
pendently of their literary merit, if they have any ? or 
are we to set them aside as so beset with suspicion, 
and as evincing such evidence of fabrication in a later 
age, as to render them valueless for all historic pur- 
poses ? 

That the bards to whom these poems are in the 
main attributed, are recorded as having lived in the 
sixth century, is certain. We have it on the authority 
of the Genealogia annexed to Nennius, written in the 
eighth century. That this record of their having lived 
in that age is true, we have every reason to believe, 
and we may hold that there were such bards as 
Taliessin, Aneurin, Llywarch Hen, and Myrddin, at 


that early period, who were believed to have written 
poems. That the poems which now bear their name 
do not show the verbal forms, and orthography of that 
age, and that the form of the language of these poems 
has not the aspect which the language of the sixth 
century ought to exhibit, is equally certain. But this 
implies no more than that we do not possess transcripts 
of these poems made at that period. With the ex- 
ception of two fragments, the oldest transcript we now 
possess is that in the Black Book of Caermarthen, a MS. 
of the twelfth century, and the orthography and verbal 
forms are those of that period, but this is not con- 
clusive. AU transcripts show the orthography and 
forms of their period. There may have been earlier 
transcripts, and if these had been preserved they would 
have shown earlier forms. 

Before proceeding further, then, with this view of 
the subject, we may inquire whether these poems 
exhibit other marks of a later date, independently of 
the orthography and form of the language, so clear 
and decisive, as to lead us at once to the conviction 
that they could not belong to an earlier period than 
the date of the MS. in which we find the oldest text. 
If this question is answered in the negative, we may 
then inquire how far they show us clear and decisive 
marks of having been the work of an earlier age ; and 
having determined their date, the literary question 
will become easily disposed of. If, on a fair and candid 
examination of these poems, it must be answered in 
the aflSimative, cadit qucestio. 


These poems have recently been arraigned at the 
bar of criticism by Mr. Stephens and Mr. Nash ; and 
though they differ somewhat in the extent to which 
they answer this question in the affirmative, yet on 
the whole their verdict is against the antiquity of the 
poems, and the grounds upon which they arrive at 
this conclusion partake to a great extent of one com- 
mon character. It wiU, therefore, be convenient to 
deal with these works together as really forming one 
body of criticism, and to examine first the case for the 
prosecution, as it were, and the real bearing of that 
criticism upon the question. 

Both of these writers group the poems into two 
classes, which they call Mythological and Historical, 
and the objections which they urge against them 
may be comprised under the three following proposi- 
tions : — 

I. The so-called mythological poems do not con- 
tain, as is supposed, a system of mystical and semi- 
pagan philosophy, handed down from the Druids, and 
preserved in these poems by their successors, the Bards 
of the sixth century, as an esoteric creed ; but they 
are the work of a later age, and are nothing but the 
wild and extravagant emanations of the fancy of bards 
of the twelfth and subsequent centuries, and contain 
such allusions to the prose tales and romances of the 
middle ages as to show that they must have been 
written after these tales were composed. . 

II. The so-called historical poems not only contain 
direct allusions to later evidents, but it can be shown 


that other allusions, which have been supposed to apply- 
to events of the sixth century, were really intended to 
refer to later events. 

III. The orthography and poetic structure of these 
poems show that they could not have been written 
earlier than the date of the MSS. in which they first 

Mr. Stephens embraces in his criticism the whole 
of these poems ; Mr. Nash deals with those of Talicssin 
alone ; and it may be as well to consider the bearing 
of this criticism on the poems attributed to Taliessin 

Mr. Stephens, in his work on the Literature of the 
Kymry, does not go minutely intc them, but deals 
with a few specimens only, and states the result of his 
examination of seventy-seven poems, attributed to 
Talicssin, in the following classification :— - 

Historical, and as Old as the Sixth Century. 

Gwaith Gwenystrad. The Battle of Gwenystrad. 

Gwaith Argoed Llwyfain. The Battle of Argoed Llwyfain. 

Gwaith DyflFryn Gwarant. The Battle of DyfFryn Gwarant. 

I Urien, To Urien. 

I Urien. To Urien. 

Canu i Urien. A Song to Urien. 

Yspail Taliessin. The Sports of Taliessin. 

Cann i Urien Rheged. A Song to Urien Rheged. 

Dadolwch Urien Rheged. Reconciliation to Urien. 

I Wallawg. To Gwallawg (the Galgacus of 


Dadolwch i Urien. Reconciliation to Urien. 

Marwnad Owain ap Urien. The Elegy of Owain ap Urien . 



Cerdd i Wallawg ap Lleenawg. A Song to Gwallawg ap Lleenawg. 

Marwnad Cunedda. The Elegy of Cunedda. 

Gwarchan Tutvwlch. The Incantation of Tutvwlch. 

Gwarchan Adebon. The Incantation of Adebon. 

Gwarchan Cynfelyn. The Incantation of Cynvelyn. 

Gwarchan Maelderw. The Incantation of Maelderw . 

Kerdd Daronwy. The Song to Daronwy. 

Trawsganu Cjiian Garwyn. The Satire on Cynan Garwyn. 

eomances belonging to the twelfth and thirteenth 


Canu Cyntaf Taliessin. 
Dehuddiant Elphin. 
Hams Taliessin. 
Canu y Medd. 
Canu y Gwynt. 
Canu y Byd Mawr. 
Canu y Byd Bach. 
BtLstl y Beirdd. 
Buarth Beirdd. 
Cad Goddeu. 
Cadeir Taliesin. 
Cader Teymon. 
Canu y Cwrwv. 
Canu y Meirch. 
Addvwyneu Taliesin. 
Angar Kyvyndawd. 
Priv Cyfarch. 
Dehuddiant Elphin, 
Arymes Dydd Brawd. 
Awdl Vraith. 
Glaswawd Taliesin. 
Divregawd Taliesin. 
Mab gyfreu Taliesin. 

Awdl Etto Taliesin. 
Kyfes Taliessin. 

Taliessin' s first Song. 
The Consolation of Elphin. 
The History of Taliessin. 
The Mead Song. 
The Song to the Wind. 
The Song of the Great World. 
The Song of the Little World. 
The Gall of the Bards. 
The Circle of the Bards. 
The Battle of the Trees. 
The Chair of Taliesin. 
The Chair of the Sovereign On. 
The Song of the Ale. 
The Song of the War-horses. 
The Beautiful Things of Taliesin. 
The Provincial Confederacy. 
The Primary Gratulation. 
Elphin' s Consolation. 
The Day of Judgment. 
The Ode of Varieties. 
The Encomiums of Taliesin. 
Past and Future Ages. 
Taliesin's Juvenile Accomplish- 
Another Ode by Taliesin. 
T/ie Confession of Taliessin. 


These seem to form Portions of the Mabinogi of Talie- 


Cadair Keridwen. 
Marwnad Uthyr Pendragon. 
Preiddeu Annwn. 
Marwnad Ercwlf. 
Marwnad Mad. Ddrud ac 

Erov y greulawn. 
Marwnad Aeddon o Von. 
Anrhyveddodau Alexander. 
Y Gofeisws Byd. 
Lluryg Alexander. 

Tlie Chair of Keridwen. 

The Elegy of Uthyr Pendragon. 

The Victims of Annwn (Hell). 

The Elegy of Hercules. 

The Elegy of Madoc the Bold and 

Erov the Fierce. 
The Elegy of Aeddon of Mon. 
The not wounding of Alexander. 
A Sketch of the World. 
The Lorica of Alexander. 

Predictive Poems — Twelfth and Succeeding Centuries. 

Ymarwar Llud Mawr. 

Ymarwar Llud Bychan. 

Gwawd Llud Mawr 

Kerd am Veib Llyr. 

Marwnad Corroi ab Dairy. 

Mic or Myg Dinbych. 

Arymes Brydain. 



Kywrysedd Gwynedd a 


Marwnad y Milveib. 
Y Maen Gwijrih. 
Can y Gwynt. 

Anrhec Urien. 

The Appeasing of the Great Llud. 

The Appeasing of Llud the Little. 

The Praise of Llud the Great. 

Song to the Sons of Llyr. 

Elegy on Corroy, Son of Dayry. 

The Prospect of Tenby. 

The Destiny of Britain. 

The Oracle. 

The Oracle. 

Tlie Contention of North and 

South Wales. 
A Moral Ode. 

Elegy on a Thousand Saints. 
The Miraculous Stone. 
The Song of the Wind. — Subject, 

Owen Gwynedd. 
The Gift of Urien. 

Theological — Same Date. 
Plaeu yr Aipht. The Plagues of Egypt. 

Llath Moesen. The Rod of Moses. 

Llath Moesen. The Rod of Moses. 

Gwawd Gwyr Israel. Eulogy of the Men of Israel. 

Note. — ^The poems printed in italics are not in the Book of Taliessin. 


Since the publication of that work, several papers 
have appeared in the Archceologia Cmnhrensis, in 
which he has given his niore matured views of the 
poems, modifying somewhat this classification. 

Mr. Nash deals with them in the two classes only, 
and on the whole considers the entire body of poetry 
connected with the name of Taliessin to belong to the 
twelfth and subsequent centuries. 

It is with the poems attributed to Taliessin that the 
objections under the first proposition mainly deal. The 
great body of those included under the head of mytho- 
logical poems bear his name, or are said to be composed 
by him, and to these the school of Owen Pughe and 
Edward Williams, of Davies and Herbert, has given 
a mystic sense, and has supposed that a species of 
Druidic superstition was handed down in them. Now, 
I go a certain length with them in this objection. I 
agree with them in thinking that these poems do not 
contain any such esoteric system of semi-pagan philo- 
sophy, and so far as their criticism goes to demolish the 
fancies of this school, I think it is well founded. But 
there I stop. It does not follow that because the poems 
are not what Davies and Herbert represent them to be, 
they are therefore not genuine. It does not follow that 
because a mistaken meaning has been applied to them, 
therefore they can have no rational meaning whatever. 
Like all poems of this description, they are fuU of obscure 
allusions and half-expressed sentiments, and where the 
real drift of the poem is not understood, it will of 
course have the aspect of meaningless verbiage, just 


as the ritual of a church, to one who does not know 
what it is intended to convey or to symbolise, appears 
mere mummery; but as soon as a clue is obtained 
to the real meaning of the poet, the allusions in the 
poem, however obscure they appear, become intelli- 
gible and consistent; and before the critic can justly urge 
this objection, he must be very sure that he has grasped 
the real meaning of the poet, as well as comprehended 
the true bearing and place in literature of the poems 
he is dealing with. That these poems are really in- 
tended to convey a definite meaning I do not doubt. 
They will be found to harmonise with the history and 
intellectual character of the place and period to which 
they belong, and the first work of the critic is to ascer- 
tain, on definite grounds, what that place and period 
really is. 

The other ground given for doubting these poems 
is more tangible — viz. that they contain such allusions 
to the prose tales and romances of the middle ages as 
to show that they must have been written after these 
tales were composed, and here Mr. Nash makes a 
special case against the poems attributed to Tahessin. 
He states that a prose tale, containing the personal 
history of Taliessin and his transmigrations, was 
composed in the thirteenth century, and that a copy 
of this tale contained in the Red Book of Hergest 
has been published, with an English translation, by 
Lady Charlotte Guest, in her collection of Mabinogion. 
This prose tale is interspersed with poems said to have 
been sung by Taliessin, and Mr. Nash maintains that 


it is in the main the basis from which the greater part 
of the so-called poems of Taliessin has sprung, and 
that a large number, besides those contained in the 
Mabinogi of Taliessin, derive their inspiration from it. 

It seems rather strange that so severe a critic as 
Mr. Nash, who will accept none of the poems which are 
the subject of his criticism as ancient or genuine, except 
upon the clearest evidence, should yet assume at once 
the genuineness and antiquity of the Mabinogi of 
Taliessin. It is beyond question, that the only text of 
it before him is written in much more modem Welsh 
than any of the poems it is supposed to have given 
birth to, and yet he makes no difficulty. It is further 
strange that in founding upon this prose tale as the 
very basis of his argument throughout, and his most 
formidable weapon, he should not have taken means 
to ascertain whether it really is in the Eed Book of 
Hergest. No copy of this tale is to be found in 
the Eed Book of Hergest at aU, and as that valu- 
able MS. contains all the other prose tales of that 
period, this of itself is an argument against its authen- 

But, moreover, no copy of it is to be found in 
any known MS. prior to the eighteenth century. Dr. 
Owen Pughe, who published it in 1833, says explicitly 
that there was but one version of the prose narrative, 
and that version was furnished by lolo Morganwg. 
Every notice regarding it upon which Mr. Nash founds 
emanates from him, and is not to be found elsewhere. 
Even if we accept the account given by Dr. Owen 


Pughe, his explicit statement is, that it was composed 
by Hopkin Thomas Philip, and it cannot be taken 
farther back than 1590 or 1600, long after every 
poem we are dealing with had been transcribed ; but 
its history is so questionable as to lead to the sus- 
picion that it had no earlier origin than the school 
which produced it, and it is quite as necessary for Mr. 
Nash, before he can legitimately found upon it, to 
bridge over the interval between Einion OfFeiriad in 
the thirteenth century, if he lived then, or if he ever 
lived at all, and Dr. Owen Pughe in the nineteenth, 
as it is for the advocates of the authenticity of the 
poems to bridge over the interval between the sixth 
century and the Black Book of Caermarthen. 

So much for the prose narrative. With regard to 
the poems imbedded in it, whether naturally or artifi- 
cially, the text published by Dr. Pughe in 1833 con- 
tains eleven poems ; that published by Lady Charlotte 
Guest in 1849, fourteen, but in the notes we are 
informed that four of these poems were added to her 
edition from the Myvyrian Archaeology, and were not 
in the MSS. from which she printed. Now, of these 
eleven poems contained in the MSS. of the prose tale 
printed by Dr. Owen Pughe and Lady Charlotte Guest, 
not one is to be found in the Book of Taliessin ; and of 
the four poems which she added from the Myvyrian 
Archaeology, only two are in that Book. 

At the time, therefore, when the Book of Taliessin 
was transcribed, the poems inserted in the prose tale 
had either not been written, or were known to be 



spurious, and not to belong to tlie body of poems at 
tbat time attributed to Taliessin. Moreover, several 
of these poems are said to have been in reality the 
work of Jonas A thraw o Fynyw, or Jonas, the Doctor 
or Divine of St. Davids, of whom, however, and the 
true period in which he lived, we know really nothing, 
but one of these poems appears among the poems 
transcribed in the end of the Eed Book of Hergest 
in the fifteenth century. The poems attributed to 
Jonas Athraw of St. David's are — 

1. Hanes Taliessin, beginning " Prifardd Cyffredin." 

2. Fustl y Veirdd, beginning " Cler o gam." 

3. Dyhuddiant Elfin, beginning " Gognawd Gyrra." 

4. Divregwawd Taliessin, beginning " Goruchel 

Dduw." This is the poem contained in the 
Red Book of Hergest. 

5. Yr awdl Fraith, beginning with the line " Ef a 

wnaith Panton." 

It is the last of these poems from which the well- 
known sentiment has been so often quoted, as a saying 

of Taliessin — 

Eu ner a volant 
Eu hiaith a gadwant 
Eu tir a gollant 
Ond gwyllt Walia. 

Their God they shall adore, 
Their language they shall keep, 
Their country they shall lose, 
Except Wild Wales. 

Indeed, it is generally considered that the history 


of Wales cannot be referred to with any propriety 
without quoting these lines. 

None of these poems, however, appear in the Book 
of Taliessin ; and a verse in this poem might have 
shown that it made no claim to being the genuine 
work of the bard whose name it bears : — 

Joannes the Divine 
I Called me Merddin ; 

At length every king 
Will call me Taliessin. 

And called Taliessin it has been ever since, and it has 
been subjected by Mr. Nash, along with the other 
spurious poems, to one common criticism with those 
which are to be found in the Book of Taliessin, and the 
estimate formed of the spurious poems maintained 
equally to invalidate those professing to be genuine. 
These poems are all included in Mr. Stephens's third 
class ; and the criticism, so far as based upon them, 
may now be set aside as having little or no bearing 
upon the real question. 

Having thus disposed of the so-called Mabinogi, 
or romance of Taliessin, which plays so great and illegi- 
timate a part in modern criticism, we must now advert 
to the allusions said to be made to the other prose tales 
really contained in the Red Book of Hergest, and usually 
called the Mabinogion, and which it is maintained show 
that the poems containing such allusions must have been 
written after these prose tales were composed. It is ad- 
mitted that these allusions are made to the Mabinogion 
of the oldest class only, and they certainly possess a 


considerable antiquity. Here, the first feature in 
this proposition which startles us is, that if well 
founded, it inverts the usual sequence in the early 
literature of most countries, and supposes that prose 
tales were first composed, and poems afterwards 
written from them. We usually find the reverse of 
this. The literature of most countries commences 
with lays in which the traditions and knowledge of the 
people in the infancy of their society are handed down 
to succeeding generations ; and then, as cultivation 
advances, and the intellect of the nation developes, it 
passes over into chronicles and prose romances. In 
Wales we must suppose the progress to be different. 
If the poems we are dealing with belong to a later age, 
none others have come down to us, and we must sup- 
pose that the fancies and dim imaginings of the people 
in their earlier stages first developed themselves in 
prose romances. The fallacy which leads to this is 
the assumption that these tales are so far fictions, in- 
vented romances, in which, though the names may be 
real, the incidents are fictitious, and thus that any allu- 
sion to them, however slight, or even any mention of the 
mere names of the heroes of them, infallibly demon- 
strates a later composition of the poem which contains 
them. It is in this spirit that Mr. Stephens deals with 
them, and he sends ruthlessly every poem to a later age 
in which the mere name of Arthur occurs, as having 
been composed after the Arthurian romance was intro- 
duced from Britanny. 

But these tales are, equally with the poems, founded 


to some extent upon older legends and traditions, and 
the germ of their narrative had a prior existence in 
the earlier oral tales of the people. It is true that 
there is a marked difference in character between the 
older legend and the romantic tale founded upon it. 
The former is part of a more primitive literature, run- 
ning parallel to and in harmony with the history and 
progress of the people. Tales and incidents connected 
with their history were the subject of lays and poetic 
narratives, and the early philosophy of the people, the 
common-sense of the nation in the primitive meaning 
of the term, became crystallised into proverbs. Sym- 
bolical and figurative language was largely used. 
Revolutions and invasions were compared to convul- 
sions of nature and the ravages of monsters ; tyrants 
were denounced by obscure epithets, sentiments were 
conveyed in proverbs, and fragments of real history were 
encrusted in them, like the masses of primitive rock 
protruding through a later formation, or the boulders 
deposited upon its surface; while the oral transmission of 
this early poetic literature was secured by a complicated 
system of metre and an intricate rhyme which enabled 
the writer more readily to employ the right expressions. 
With a fixed and unalterable number of syllables in 
the Hne, a rhyme recurring in the middle of one line 
and the end of another, with one stanza commencing 
with the last word of the preceding stanza, or with 
certain words commencing with the same letter, it was 
difficult for the reciter to misplace a letter or sentence ; 
the right word must be found, and the general sen- 


timents expressed were retained in his mind by their 
taking the shape of proverbs. 

This is what we should expect early poetry of this 
description to be, and this, to a great extent, charac- 
terises the poems with which we are dealing ; but when 
the period arrives when prose tales or romances are 
preferred, the recollection of the real incidents alluded 
to, the real events symbolised, has passed away ; the 
taste of the age soon requires social tales rather than 
historical romances, the incidents become trivial, the 
heroes dwindle down to ordinary mortals, the ancient 
warriors, to private lords of a district, the symbolic 
representations become real convulsions of nature and 
actual wild beasts, and what originally sprang from 
some great internal change or some external invasion, 
now becomes the hunt of a wild animal or a quest after 
some treasure. The names of the heroes of these 
legends are retained in the prose tales, but the events 
in which they figure are changed, and assume a totally 
difierent character and aspect. 

This to a great extent characterises the Mabinogion, 
and if we find evidence in them of the characteristics 
of this stage in the literature, why are we to presume 
that the earlier stages had no existence ? In point of 
fact, we do find traces of the earlier existence of the 
germs of these tales. Thus, in the tale of Llud and 
Llefelys, at the end of the narrative as printed by Lady 
Charlotte Guest, is this notice — "And this tale is called 
the Story of Llud and Llevelys, and thus it ends." The 
expression in the original Welsh, however, is " Ar 


chwedyl hwnn aelwir Ky franc Llud a Llevelys." The 
word " Kyfranc " does not mean a story, but a quarrel 
or contention, and the reason of this great alteration 
is, that there is not a trace throughout the whole tale 
of any quarrel or contention between the two brothers 
Llud and Llevelys ; on the contrary, they are repre- 
sented as a perfect model of two affectionate brothers, 
living in perfect harmony with and mutually aiding 
one another. The tale, as it stands, is as old as the 
first edition of the Bruts where the substance of it occurs, 
and there must apparently have been an earlier legend, 
the facts of which had been forgotten while the name 
was recollected and applied to the later tale. Now, 
one of the poems attributed to Taliessin (B. T. 54, 
Ymarwar Lludd Bychan) is condemned because it is 
supposed to contain an allusion to this tale. The whole 
of the allusion is simply this : " Before the reconcilia- 
tion of Llud and Llefelys." But there cannot be a 
reconciliation without a previous contention, and it is 
obvious that the reference here is to the earlier legend. 
There is, however, one striking difference between the 
poem and the tale. In the prose tale one of the chief 
incidents is the invasion of a mysterious people called 
Corraniad, who use enchantments and possess magic 
powers ; but when we refer to the poem, it is the real 
invasion of the Romans which forms the chief incident. 
Another of the Mabinogion supposed to be referred 
to is that of Kilhwch and Olwen. The chief incident 
in this curious tale is the hunt of the Twrch Trwyt, or 
the Boar Trwyt. The poem called the Gorehan Cyn- 


velyn is supposed to refer to it, but, like the other 
poem, the allusion is comprised in a few lines : — 

Stalks like the collar of Twrch Trwyth, 
Monstrously savage, bursting and thrusting through, 
When he was attacked on the river, 
Before his precious things. 

The allusion to the legend is plain enough, but the 
mere fact of Arthur and his warriors being represented 
in the prose tale as finding the boar with seven young 
pigs in Ireland, and hunting him to Dyfed and through 
the whole of Wales, and then by the Severn into Corn- 
wall, whence he was driven into the sea again, shows 
that this is a tale in which what were originally figu- 
rative and symbolical representations of real events 
have been converted into realities. Even in its present 
shape the legend is old, for in the Memorabilia of Nen- 
nius he mentions a stone bearing the mark of a dog 
upon it, and explains, " Quando venatus est porcum 
Troit impressit Cabal, qui erat canis Arthuri militis, 
vestigium in lapide." 

A poem in the Black Book of Caermarthen (No. 31) 
is also supposed to refer to it. This poem certainly 
mentions many of the characters in it, but not one 
syllable of the plot of the prose tale ; neither Kilhwch 
and Olwen, the hero and heroine, nor the hunt of the 
boar, the chief incident, are once alluded to. The real 
allusions are to two of Arthur's battles, and the scenery 
is in the north — Try-weryd, Mynyd Eiddyn or Edin- 
burgh, and Manauid or Manau Guotodin. 

The other tales supposed to be alluded to, are the 


four which form what is strictly speaking the Mabi- 
nogi, and are all connected with one another. They 
are the following : — 

The Tale of Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed ; 
The Tale of Branwen, daughter of Llyr ; 
The Tale of Manawyddan, the son of Llyr ; 
The Tale of Math, son of Mathonwy. 

The supposed allusions run through a considerable 
number of the poems attributed to Taliessin, and form 
an important group of these poems. Now there is 
this peculiarity in these four tales forming the Mabi- 
nogi proper, that they do not mainly refer to Wales 
as the country of the Cymry, but to the period when 
Mona and Arvon were possessed by a Gwyddel popu- 
lation, and it is the legendary kings of the Gwyddel 
who are the main actors in the tales. These are pro- 
bably the oldest of the tales, but the previous remarks 
as to the form in which such legends appear in the 
prose tales are here equally applicable. The characters 
which appear in these tales are, in the first, Pwyll, 
prince of Dyfed, and Arawn, king of Annwfn or Hell ; 
in the second, Bran and Manawyddan, the sons, and 
Branwen, the daughter, of Llyr, and Matholwch, king 
of Ireland ; in the third, Manawyddan, son of Llyr, and 
Pryderi, son of Pwyll ; and in the fourth. Math, son 
of Mathonwy, king of Arvon and Mona, Gwydyon ap 
Don, and Arianrod his sister, Llew Law Gyfies and 
Dylan eil Ton, her sons, the first of whom became 
king of Gwynedd, and Pryderi, son of Pwyll, king of 


Dyfed. Pwyll is only mentioned in one poem (B. T. 
30, called Preiddeu Annwfn), and it lias no reference 
to the Mabinogi. Arawn is one of the three brothers, 
Llew, Arawn, and Urien, whom I have already noticed 
in the historical sketch, and whom we found obtaining 
lands conquered from the Saxons by Arthur. Arawn is 
said to have obtained the most northern portion, and 
from the expressions used he must have been seated 
almost beyond the limits of the Cymric population. This 
northern region must always have been viewed by the 
more southern population as a dreary and barren wilder- 
ness, and invested with superstitious attributes. Even 
as early as the time of Procopius, who flourished in the 
sixth century, he thus describes it : — 

" In this isle of Britain men of ancient time built a long wall, 
cutting oflF a great portion of it, for the soil and the men, and all 
other things, are not alike on both sides ; for on the eastern 
(southern) side of the wall there is a wholesomeness of air, in 
conformity with the seasons, moderately warm in summer and 
cool in winter. Many men inhabit here, living much as other 
men. The trees, with their appropriate fruits, flourish in season, 
and their corn-lands are as productive as others, and the district 
appears sufiiciently fertilised by streams. But on the western 
(northern) side all is different, insomuch indeed that it would be 
impossible for man to live there even half-an-hour. Vipers and 
serpents innumerable, with all other kinds of wild beasts, infest 
that place, and what is most strange, the natives affirm that if 
any one passing the wall should proceed to the other side, he wovld 
die immediately, unable to endure the unwholesomeness of the 
atmosphere. Death also, attacking such beasts as go thither, 
forthwith destroys them. But as I have arrived at this point of 
my history, it is incumbent on me to record a tradition very nearly 
allied to fable, which has never appeared to me true in all respects, 
though constantly spread abroad by men without number, who 


assert that themselves have been agents in the transactions, and 
also hearers of the words. I must not, however, pass it by alto- 
gether unnoticed, lest when thus writing concerning the island 
Brittia I should bring upon myself an imputation of ignorance of 
certain circumstances perpetually happening there. They say, 
then, that the souls of men departed are always conducted to this 

And when the C)nmric population looked northwards 
to these mountain-barriers, shrouded often with mist, 
from whose bosom poured the wintry blasts, and from 
whose recesses issued those fearful bands of Pictish 
savages, we may well suppose that they regarded it with 
awe and terror, and could give Uffern itself no more 
terrible an epithet than to call it "A cold hell." Whether 
Arawn's territory'- really bore the name of Annwfn, as 
its opposite Dwfn certainly did enter into that of the 
Damnonii, who are placed in that part of Scotland by 
Ptolemy, we can only conjecture. 

The oldest legends connect Manawyddan ap Llyr 
with Manau or Manauid. He is only mentioned in 
two poems. In one (B. B. 31) he is mentioned in con- 
nection with Arthm's battles in the north : — 

Manawyddan, the son of Llyr, 
Deep was his counsel. 
Did not Manauid bring 
Perforated shields from Trywruid? 

In the other (B. T. 14 Kerdd am veib Llyr) the 
references are as follow : — 

A battle against the sons of Llyr at Eber Henvelen. 
I have been with Bran in Ywerddon, 
I saw when was killed Mordwydtyllon, 
Is it known to Manawyd and Pryderi 1 


Of Gwydyon ap Don and Llew, the former is asso- 
ciated with all the legends connected with the settle- 
ments of the Gwyddyl, and the latter is one of the three 
brothers in the north. He was placed over Lothian, 
including part of the county occupied by Pictish tribes, 
and is the Lothus, king of the Picts, of Scottish tradi- 
tion. Now throughout these poems we find allusion 
to a confederacy or union between Brython and 
Gwyddel, in connection with the names of Llew and 

In one poem (B. T. 14) we have : — 

I have been in the battle of Godeu with Llew and Gwydion, 
I heard the conference of the Cerddorion (British Bards), 
And the Gwyddyl, devils, distillers. 

In another (B. T. 1, and R. B. 23) : — 

Truly Llew and Gwydyon 

Have been skilful ones. 
Thou wilt remember thy old Brython, 
And the Gwyddyl, furnace distillers. 

Again, in the Cad Goddeu — 

Minstrels were singing, 
Warriors were hastening. 
The exaltation to the Brython, 
Which Gwydion made. 

This was the alliance between the Brython repre- 
sented by Llew, and the Gwyddel by Gwydyon, which 
resulted in the insurrection of Medraut, son of Llew, 
against Arthur with his combined army of Picts, 
Britons, and Saxons, and which arose from a section of 
the Britons in the north being drawn over to apostasy 
by the pagan Saxons and semi-pagan Picts. 


These poems then contain, under figurative and 
symbolic hmguage, allusions to real facts; but when 
we come to the Mabinogi all is changed. The heroes 
mentioned may be the same. The events are of 
a totally different character. Bran goes to Ireland 
to resent a slap given by Matholwch to Branwen. 
There is no battle against the sons of Llyr at Eber 
Henvelen, but they gaze at it from a window after 
waking from an enchanted sleep. There is no slaughter 
of MordwydtyUon. Math, son of Mathonwy, is there 
the leading figure, and Gwydion is a mere adventurer, 
stealing pigs and forcing Arianrod to acknowledge her 
son Llew by enchantments, while Arawn is placed 
under the earth as king of Annwfu, which represents 
the actual region of departed spirits.'"' 

Mr. Nash, in his criticism on the Cad Godeu, quotes 
from the Myvyrian Archaeology a fragment which he 
thus translates — 


'' These are the Englyns that were sung at the Cad Goddeu, 
or, as others call it, the Battle of Achren, which was on account 
of a white roebuck and a whelp ; and they came from Annwn, 
and Amathaon ap Don brought them. And therefore Amathaon 
ap Don, and Arawn, king of Annwn, fought. And there was a 
man in that battle, unless his name were known he could not be 
overcome ; and there was on the other side a woman called 
Achren, and unless her name were known her party could not 
be overcome. And Gwydion ap Don guessed the name of the 
man, and sang the two Englyns following : — 

* I do not here notice the poem (B. T. 16, Kadeir Kerrituen), as I 
consider it of later date, and to belong to a diflferent period and class of 


" Sure-hoofed is my steed before the spur, 
The high sprigs of alder were on thy shield, 
Bran art thou called of the glittering branches." 

" And thus — 

" Sure-hoofed is thy steed in the day of battle, 
The high sprigs of alder are in thy hand, 
Bran, with the coat of mail and branches with thee, 
Amathaon the good has prevailed."* 

and maintains that this is a fragment of a story or 
romance called Cad Godeu, and that this real Cad 
Godeu must not be confounded with the Cad Godeu 
ascribed to Taliessin, which he adds is one of the 
very latest of these productions, and very inferior in 
style and spirit to the compositions worked up by 
Thomas ab Einion. 

I am exactly of the opposite opinion. Mr. Nash, 
as usual, assumes the genuineness of the prose docu- 
ment; but there is no indication of where it came 
from. It exists in no known MS., and I doubt not 
came from the same workshop as the so-called com- 
positions of Thomas ab Einion ; but assuming it to be a 
fragment of a prose tale, it truly bears out the remarks 
I have made. The poem called " Cad Godeu" contains 
no description of a battle ; but Godeu is repeatedly men- 
tioned in other poems, and always in close connection 
with Reged, which takes us to the " Gogledd," as do 
also the names of Llew and Arawn. It describes 
in highly figurative language a hateful appearance 
in Britain, passing before the Guledig, "like horses 
in the middle — like fleets full of wealth— like a 

* Tlie translation is Mr. Nash's. 


monster with great jaws and a hundred heads — like a 
toad with black thighs and a hundred claws — like 
a speckled snake." The word breith, or " speckled," 
betrays its character. It was the exaltation Gwydion 
gave to the Brython — the alliance with the speckled race 
of the Picts — which filled the bard with these gloomy 
pictures, and this idea runs through the whole poem. 

When we come to the prose tale, if it be one, it is 
a battle between Amathaon and Arawn, king of 
Annwfn, for a whelp and a white roebuck, and which 
was settled by the device of Gwydion guessing the 
name of a man. 




The objections under tlie second proposition apply 
mainly to the poems classed by Mr. Stephens and Mr. 
Nash as historical. Mr. Stephens maintains that there 
are not only in some of these poems direct allusions to 
persons and events of a later date than the period 
when the poems must have been composed, if they are 
genuine, but also that, in most of the poems, it can be 
shown that allusions which have been supposed to refer 
to early events were really intended to apply to those 
of a later date, and that later persons are indicated 
under the names of earlier heroes. 

Now, here also I go along with the objection, so far 
as direct allusions are made to later persons and events, 
but there I stop. 

When I find in the Black Book a poem on the 
death of Howel ap Goronwy, in which he is named, 
I can have no difficulty in believing it to apply to 
Howel ap Goronwy, who died in 1103, and that it 
must have been written after that date. The poems 
in the Black Book bearing to be the composition of 
Cynddelw are of course not within the scope of our 
inquiry. The poem in the Red Book attributed to 
M}Tddin, which mentions Coch o Normandiy I can 



have no doubt refers to WiUiam Rufus, as I find him 
called Y Brenhyn Goch in the Brut y Tywysogion. 
The poems referring to Mab Henri, or the son of 
Henri, I can have equally little doubt proceeded 
from Glamorgan, and refer to Robert, Earl of Glou- 
cester, the son of King Henry I. ; and the Hoianau, 
which mentions the five chiefs from Normandy, 
and the fifth groinor to Ireland, must have been 
composed, either in whole or in part, in the reign of 
Henry H. 

The attempt which Mr. Stephens makes, however, 
and in which he is followed by Mr. Nash, to show 
that the greater proportion of these poems contain in- 
direct allusions to later events, is, in my opinion, 
unsuccessful, and will not bear examination. It is this 
criticism which mainly affects a large number of the 
poems attributed to Taliessin, and it appears to me 
to be superficial and inconclusive in its reasoning, and 
based upon fancied resemblances, which have no true 
foundation in fact. Mr. Stephens, in a series of articles 
on the poems of Taliessin, which appeared in the Archce- 
ologia Camhriensis subsequent to the publication of the 
Literature of the Cymry, has, to some extent, modified 
the views expressed in the latter work. Of the poems 
which he there classed as doubtful he now removes 
three, and, of those in the fifth class, two, to the first 
class of genuine poems ; but the mere fact that he does 
so on a more careful examination will show how 
superficial the grounds must have been on which 
he made that classification. 

VOL. I. p 


The mode in which he has dealt with two of the 
poems will afford a good illustration of the character 
of this criticism. Among the poems in the Book of 
Taliessin is one called Marwnad Corroi m. Dayry, or 
the death-song of Corroi, son of Dayry (B. T. 42). In 
his Literature of the Kymry Mr. Stephens places this 
poem in his fifth class of " Predictive poems, twelfth 
and succeeding centuries," but in a paper in the 
Archceologia Camhrensis (vol. ii. p. 151) he gives his 
more matured views, and reverses this verdict. He 
now considers it to have been written about 640. The 
grounds upon which he comes to this conclusion are 
these. The poem alludes to a contention between 
Corroi and Cocholyn {Ky franc Corroi a Chocholyn). 
Here is his own account of his process : — " The name 
of Corroi's opponent piqued my curiosity. I forthwith 
went in search of his history in the Anglo-Saxon 
Annals, and, much to my delight, the personage whom 
I sought appeared in good company, being Cuichelm, 
one of the West Saxon kings." He then gives extracts 
from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of the events connected 
with Cuichelm from a.d. 611 to 626, when he died. 
He confesses he can make nothing of Corroi, but he 
immediately identifies Cocholyn with Cuichelm, and 
forthwith removes the date of the composition of the 
poem from the twelfth to the seventh century. This 
is a good specimen of the mode in which this kind of 
criticism is made to tell upon the dates of the poems. 
If there is any poem in which we can predicate with 
certainty of the subject of it, it is this; and if Mr. 


Stephens, instead of betaking himself to the Saxon 
Chronicle, had gone to Ireland for his hero, he would 
have been more successful. Cocholyn is no other than 
the celebrated Ossianic hero Cuchullin, and Corroi, son 
of Dayry, was the head of the knights of Munster. 
They are mentioned together in an old Irish tract, 
which says, " This was the cause which brought 
Cuchulain and Curoi son of Daire from Alban to 
Erin."* The allusions in the poem are to the events 
of a legendary tale in which these heroes figure, and 
there are none to any other events. The poem belongs 
to a period when there was more intercommunion be- 
tween the different branches of the British Celts, and 
when they had a common property in their early 

The other poem is one in the Eed Book of Hergest 
commonly called Anrhec Urien (R. B. 1 7). It is likewise 
placed by Mr. Stephens in the same class of Predictive 
poems of the twelfth century, and in an article in the 
same volume of the Archceologia Gamhrensis (p. 206), 
Mr. Stephens adheres to this opinion as to its date, 
and maintains that it refers to events of the eleventh 
century. These events are supposed to be contained 
in a series of extracts from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 
and the Brut y Tyivysogion, ranging from 1055tol063, 
but the reader will seek in vain for anything but the 
most vague and general resemblance, which might be 
equally well traced between the allusions in the poem 
and any other series of events. Mr. Nash makes much 

* Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 319. 


shorter work of it. His argument is this :- — The poem 
mentions a battle of Corsfochno. The Hoianau also re- 
fers to a battle of Corsfochno. The Hoianau was written 
in the twelfth century, therefore this poem also was writ- 
ten in the twelfth century ! Admitting that the Hoianau 
was written in the twelfth century, does it follow that 
a poem of that date may not refer to an event of an 
earlier period ? The Hoianau mentions likewise Rhyd- 
derch Hael and the battle of Argoed Llwyfain, and 
both belong to an early period. There can be no 
doubt as to Rhydderch Hael being a real person in the 
sixth century, and as little that the battle of Argoed 
Llwyfain was a real event of the same century. Both 
Mr. Stephens and Mr. Nash admit it. Mr. Stephens, 
in his Literature of the Kymry, says, with his usual 
candour : " Corsfochno is in Cardiganshire, but I can 
find no other notice of this battle than another predic- 
tion;" but in his article on this poem he endeavours 
to find a notice of it in some lines of Gwalchmai, who 
flourished in the twelfth century, and Mr. Nash adopts 
the conclusion at once. Corsfochno, however, was a 
real place, and these lines only refer to events in 
South Wales having been tra Corsfochno, beyond Cors- 

Let us now see whether another construction may 
not be put upon this poem, which is, to say the least 
of it, equally well borne out. The poem opens with a 
greeting of Urien Reged. It then mentions three of 
the sons of Llywarch Hen — Jeuaf, Ceneu, and Selev. 
It then alludes to a competition between " four men 


maintaining their place witli four hundred, with the 

deepest water." One of these is mentioned as 

A Dragon from Gwynedd of precipitous lands and gentle towns. 

Surely this was enough to have indicated at once 
Maelgwn Gwynedd, whom Gildas calls " the insular 
dragon," as the person probably alluded to. Then 
another is thus alluded to as 

A Bear from the South, he will arise, 

and Cyneglas is called by Gildas a "Bear and the 
Charioteer of a Bear." If two of the four men thus 
indicate two of Gildas's kings, we may well presume 
that the four men meant are his four kings of Wales. 
It is said of the Dragon of Gwynedd — 

Killing and drowning from Eleri (a river in Corsfochno) 

to Chwilfynydd, 
A conquering and umnerciful one will triumph ; 
Small will be his army on returning from the (action of) 


And again — 

He that will escape from the affair of Corsfochno will be 

Now, does not this contest between the four men, in 
which the deep waters play a part, and the Dragon of 
Gwynedd triumphs, and which is said to be the affaii- 
of Corsfochno, very plainly refer to the transaction at 
Corsfochno, whatever it really was, by which Maelgwn 
Gwynedd, the insular dragon, became supreme sove- 
reign of Wales, and in which these northern chiefs 
may have taken a part? The reference to Urien at 
the end — 


TJrien of Eeged, generous he is and will be, 

And has been since Adam. 

He, proud in the hall, has the most wide-spreading sword 

Among the thirteen kings of " Y Gogledd," or the North — 

is conclusive as to the antiquity of the poem. If it 
had been composed in the twelfth century, when all 
memory of the Cymric states in the north had passed 
away, Urien would have been brought to South Wales, 
where the later bards had provided a Eeged for him 
between the Tawy and the Towy. 

It is needless to examine more of this criticism. 
These two specimens will suffice, and the notes to the 
poems will indicate, as far as possible, the real events 
referred to. The real character and bearing of this 
criticism upon the poems may be sufficiently indicated 
by a short illustration. Let us suppose that the ques- 
tion is the genuinness of the poem called The Wallace, 
attributed to a popular minstrel Blind Harry. Why, 
we might suppose Mr. Stephens and Mr. Nash would 
say, Here is a battle fought by Wallace against the 
English at Falkirk. We know the real battle of Fal- 
kirk was fought against the English by Prince Charles 
Edward in 1 74 6 . Wallace heads an insurrection against 
the English, so does Prince Charles. It is quite clear 
that the battle of Falkirk in 1746 is the real battle; 
under the name of Wallace, an ancient hero, Prince 
Charles is meant, and we must bring down the age of 
the poem to the eighteenth century. In using this 
illustration I do not think I am caricaturing this branch 
of the recent criticism. 



The objections taken to these poems under the third 
proposition are, that the orthography and verbal forms 
are not older than the date of the MSS. in which they 
were transcribed, and that the poetical structure and 
the sentiments they breathe are analogous to the 
poetry of a later age. Mr. Stephens, by admitting 
that some of the poems are genuine, neutralises the 
first branch of this objection entirely, and the second 
to some extent. If some of the poems are pronounced 
to be ancient, notwithstanding the orthography being 
of a later date, so may aU, and Mr. Stephens is bound 
to show that there is a marked difference between 
the poetical form and the sentiments of the poems he 
rejects and those he admits to be genuine, before he 
can foimd upon such an argument. Mr. Nash, how- 
ever, goes further. He does not absolutely deny that 
some of the poems may be genuine, but he does not 
admit that any are older than the MSS. in which they 
appear, and he throws upon the advocates of their 
authenticity the burden of proving that they are older, 
notwithstanding their structure and orthography. 

It may be admitted that these poems, as well as all 
such documents, whatever their age may be, usually 
appear, in so far as their orthography and verbal forms 
are concerned, in the garb of the period when the MS. 
in which they appear was transcribed. The scribes of 
those times had not the spirit of the antiquaries of the 
present, which leads them to preserve the exact spelling 
and form of any ancient document they print. When 
such poems were handed down orally, those who recited 


them did not do so in the older forms of an earlier 
period, but in the language of their own. In their 
vernacular forms, a process of phonetic corruption and 
alteration was going on, but it was a gradual and 
insensible one, and the language of the poems was 
easily adapted to it as their spoken idiom. The reciters 
and the hearers both wished to understand the historic 
and national lays they were dealing with; and the 
reciter no more thought it necessary, in transcribing 
them from older MSS., to preserve their more ancient 
form, than he did, in reciting them orally, to preserve 
any other form of the language than the one in which 
he heard them repeated. This is not peculiar to Welsh 
MSS., but is true of aU such records. The only excep- 
tion was when the scribe did not understand the piece 
which he was transcribing, and retained the old forms, 
and hence arise those pieces which appear in an obsolete 
form of the language with glosses. There was also this 
peculiarity in Welsh MSS., that there had been at in- 
tervals great and artificial changes in the orthography, 
and the scribe was no doubt wedded to the orthographic 
system of the day. 

It is fortunate, however, that these poems are con- 
tained in MSS. of different dates, as it affords at once 
a test of the soundness of this objection. Between 
the Black Book of Caermarthen and the Eed Book of 
Hergest there is an interval of two centuries, and the 
Books of Aneurin and Taliessin stand between them. 
Now, there are poems in the Eed Book of Hergest and 
in the Book of Taliessin which are also to be found in 


the Black Book of Caennartlien. Had this latter MS. 
not been preserved, there would have been no older 
text of these poems than in the two former MSS., and 
Mr. Nash's argument as to their being no older than 
the MS. in which they appear would have applied 
with equal force, but here we have the same text 
nearly two centuries earlier. 

Let us then compare a few Hues of the same poem 
in each Book : — 

Black Book of Caermakthen. 

Adwin caer yssit ar Ian llyant 

Adwin yd rotir y pauper y chwant 

Gogywarch de gwinet boed tev wyant, 

Gwaewaur rrin. Eei adarwant. 

Dyv merchir. gueleisse guir yg cvinowant. 

Dyv iev bv. ir. guarth. it adcorssant. 

Ad oet bryger coch. ac och ar dant. 

Get llutedic guir guinet. Dit y deuthant. 

Ac am kewin llech vaelvy kylcliuy wriwant 

Cuytin y can keiwin llv o carant. 

Book of Taliessin. 

Adudyn gaer yssyd ar Ian Uiant. 

AduOyn yt rodir y paOb ychwant. 

Gogyfarch ti vynet boet ten udyant. 

GOaywadr ryn rein a derllyssant. 

DuO merchyr gOeleis wyr ygkyfnofant. 

Dyfieu bu gOartheu a amugant 

Ac yd oed vriger coch ac och aidant. 

Oed lludued vynet dyd y doethant 

Ac am gefyn Uech vael(iy kylchdy vriwant 

CCiydyn ygan gefyn Uu o garant. 


Black Book of CaermakthBn. 

Eac gereint gelin kystut 

Y gueleise meirch can crinvrut 

A gwidy gaur garv achlut 

Bed Book of Hergest. 

Eac gereint gelyn kythrud 
GOeleis y veirch dan gymryd 
A g6edy gaOr garO aclilud. 

But there are indications in the Black Book of 
Caermarthen that in some of the poems the writer had 
transcribed from some older record, and had not 
always understood what he wrote. The fact that no 
older record has come down to us, is no proof that 
it never existed ; and had such record been pre- 
served, we no doubt would have found a differ- 
ence between its text and that of the Black Book, 
analogous to the difference between the latter and 
the Red Book of Hergest. Had we the Book that 
Scolan confesses to have drowned, it might have set- 
tled the question. . 

But though we have no older record of any of 
the existing poems than the ' Black Book of Caer- 
marthen, we have two fragments of other poems of 
older date, and these may help us to penetrate still a 
little further back. The first is a verse preserved in 
the old Welsh Laws, and there expressly said to have 
been sung by Taliessin. The other is the short poem 
preserved in the Cambridge Juvencus, and printed in 
vol. ii. p. 2. It is not attributed to any bard, but it 


approaclies so closely, in style, structure, and senti- 
ment, to one of the poems attributed to Llywarch Hen, 
as to leave no rational doubt that they are by the same 
author. Though we cannot compare them with the 
same passages in the later MSS., we may place them in 
contrast with passages as nearly approaching to them 
in metre and style as we can find. 

In comparison with the first, let us take three lines 
in the same metre out of the first poem in the Book of 
TaHessin, which is also to be found in the Red Book 
of Hergest. And with the other let us compare a few 
stanzas in the poems of Llywarch Hen which most 
nearly approach it : — 


Old Welsh Laws. 

Kickleu odures eu Uaueneu 
Kan Eun en rudher bedineu 
Guir Aruon rudyon euredyeu 

Book of Taliessin. 

Achyn mynhdyf derwyn creu 
Achyn del ewynuriO ar vyggeneu 
Achyn vyghyfalle ar y llathen preu 

Eed Book of Hergest. 

A chynn mynnOyf deruyn creu 

A chynn del ewynriO ar vynggeneu 

A chynn vyngkyualle ar Uathen preu 



Cambkidge Juvencus. 

Niguorcosam nemheunaur 
Henoid. Mitelu nit gurmaur. 
Mi amfranc dam ancalaiir 

Mcanu niguardam nicusam 
Henoid. Get iben med noueL 
Mi amfranc dam an patel 

Eed Book of Hergest. 

Stauell gyndylan ystywyll 
Heno. Heb dan lieb gannwyll 
Namyn dud pCiy am dyry pdyll 

Stauell gyndylan ystywyll 
Heno. Heb dan heb oleuat. 
Elit amdaO am danat 

Pan wisgei garanmael, gat pels kynndylan 

A phyrydyaO y onnen 

Ny cliaffei ^ra?ic tranc oe benn 

Black Book of Caeemarthen. 

Oet re rereint dan vortuid 
Gereint. Garhirion graun guenith 
Eution rutliir eririon blith. 

Oet re rerient dan vortuid 
Gereint. Garhirion graun ae bO 
Eution ruthir eriron dd. 


There can be no doubt that tbe analogy here carries 
us back to the ninth century, but before we can ad- 
vance further it will be necessary to revert to the 
historic argument as to the true date and place of 
these poems in Cymric literature. 

To enter into an inquiry with regard to the metri- 
cal structure and poetic character of these poems, in 
order to show the extent to which they indicate that 
they are the work of an earlier age, and the essential 
difference between them and the poetry of the twelfth 
and succeeding centuries, would exceed the limits of 
this work. It would involve a detailed examination 
of the whole of these poems, which is here impossible. 
The examples above given will show that the metre of 
most of the poems attributed to Llywarch Hen, and 
which is usually called the Triban Milwyr, or war- 
rior's triplet, is at least as old as the ninth century, 
and one of Taliessin s metres as the tenth. 

There is a remarkable admission by lolo Morganwg 
himself as to the difference in character between the 
genuine and the spurious poems attributed to Taliessin. 
He says of the Mabinogi of Taliessin — 

" This romance has been mistaken by many for true history ; 
but that it was not, might have been easily discovered by proper 
attention to the language and its structure — to the structure of 
the verse in the poems attributed in this fiction to Taliessin hav- 
ing nothing but the externals of the verse of the genuine Tahessin, 
and nothing of its internal rhythm and other pecuUarities." 

No one knew better than lolo Morganwg where 
these spurious poems really came from. 


The poems attributed to Taliessin have been sub- 
jected to criticisin both by Mr. Stephens and by Mr. 
Nash, but the poems attributed to Myrddin, with which 
Mr. Nash does not profess to deal, are likewise in- 
cluded within the scope of Mr. Stephens' criticism. 
We have only to deal with those, the texts of which 
are to be found in the four ancient MSS. There are 
four in the Black Book of Caermarthen, and two in 
the Eed Book of Hergest, and no doubt the legendary- 
connection of the name of Caermarthen with that of 
Myrddin led to their occupying a prominent place in 
the former MS. The first poem in that book (B. B. 1) 
is a dialogue between Myrddin and Taliessin, and the 

last stanza — 

Since I. MjTdin, after Taliessin 
Let my prophecy be made common, 

indicates Myrddin as the author. The subject is the 
Battle of Ardderyd, and one of Arthur's battles— that 
at Trywruid — is alluded to in it ; but there is one allu- 
sion in it which marks great antiquity — that to a 
place called Nevtur — which can be no other than 
Nemhtur, the most ancient name of Dumbarton, and 
one not applied to it, or indeed known, after the eighth 

The other three are Nos. 16, 17, and 18, 
the two last being the AvaUenau and the Hoianau. 
Mr. Stephens considers both to be spurious, and the 
work of Ll}nvard Prydydd y Moch, the bard of 
Llywellyn, prince of North Wales from 1194 to 1240, 
but the poems had evidently been already transcribed 


before his time. Mr. Stephens is of course dealing 
with the text in the M}^'rian Archaeology ; but while 
the texts of the Hoianau in the Black Book and in 
the Myvyrian Archaeology are substantially the same, 
there is a great difference between the two texts of the 
Avallenau. That in the Archaeology contains twenty- 
two stanzas, while the text in the Black Book has only 
ten, and the order is different ; but further, the stanzas 
omitted in the Black Book are just those upon which 
Mr. Stephens founds his argument for its later date. 
While, therefore, I agree with Mr. Stephens in con- 
sidering the Hoianau as a spurious poem written in 
imitation of the Avallenau, I consider that his criticism 
is not applicable to the text of the latter as we have it 
in the Black Book, and that it is an old poem to which 
the stanzas founded upon by Mr. Stephens have been 
subsequently added. The poem No. 16 1 rank along 
with the Hoianau. 

The two poems contained in the Red Book of 
Hergest are the first two in the MS. The first is the 
Cyfoesi Myrdin, but this poem will be more con- 
veniently considered in the next chapter, in connection 
with the historical argument. The second is the 
Guasgardgerd Vyrddin ; and from the direct allusions 
to a king under the name of Coch o Normandi, who 
can be no other than William Rufus, as he is 
invariably termed in the Bruts Y Brenhin Coch, and 
to Mob Henri, or the son of Hem-i, whom I believe 
to be intended for Robert, Earl of Gloucester, son of 


Henry the First, I can have no hesitation in assigning 
it to the beginning of the twelfth century. 

None of these three poems, which I consider to be 
unquestionably spurious, ought in my opinion to be 
assigned to any bard of North Wales. They, along 
with some other poems of the same class contained 
in the Eed Book of Hergest, emanate very plainly 
from South Wales, and probably from Glamorgan. 




Having thus examined the recent criticism, by which 
the poems attributed to the bards of the sixth cen- 
tury are maintained really to belong to a much later 
period, so far as the limits of this work will per- 
mit, we have now to approach the true problem we 
have to solve, and endeavom^ to assign to them 
their real place in Cymric hterature ; and the first 
question is, Do the poems themselves afibrd any indica- 
tions by which we may judge of their antiquity ? It 
is obvious, viewed in this light, that if these poems are 
genuine they ought to reflect the history of the period 
to which they belong. If we find that they do not 
re-echo to any extent the fictitious narrative of the 
events of the fifth and sixth centuries as represented 
in the Bruts, but rather the leading facts of the early 
history of Cymry, as we have been able to deduce 
them from the older authorities, it wiU be a strong 
ground for concluding that they belong themselves to 
an earlier age. This is an inquiry which of course can 
only affect the so-called historical poems, with such 
others of the class of m}^hological poems as contain 
historical allusions ; but when their true place and 
period are once ascertained, the other poems must be 

VOL. I. Q 


judged of by their resemblance to tliese in metrical 
structure, style, and sentiment. 

Following, then, tbe course of the history, as we have 
traced it, we have first the Marwnad or Death-song of 
Cunneddaf (B. T. 46). Cunedda, as we know, was Gule- 
dig in the fifth century, and retired from the northern 
wall to beyond the southern. In the poem we are told — 

There is trembling from fear of Cunedda the burner, 
In Caer Weir and Caer Lliwelydd ; 

that is, in Durham and Carlisle — two towns, the one 
behind the west end, and the other the east end of the 
wall. And again — 

He was to be admired in the tumult with nine hundred horse. 

Here he is represented as commanding 900 horse, the 
exact amount of auxiliary cavalry attached to a Koman 
legion. The Eoman wall, or mur, is likewise alluded 
to in two other of those death-songs (B. T. 40, 41) — 
one where Ercwlf is called the Wall-piercer, and the 
other where Madawg, the son of Uthyr, is called the 
Joy of the WaU. 

It is very remarkable how few of these poems con- 
tain any notice of Arthur. If they occupied a place, as 
is supposed, in Welsh literature, subsequent to the intro- 
duction of the Arthurian romance, we should expect 
these poems to be saturated with him and his knights, 
and his adventures, but it is not so. Out of so large a 
body of poems, there are only five which mention him 
at aU, and then it is the historical Arthur, the Guledig, 
to whom the defence of the wall was entrusted, and 


who fights the twelve battles in the north, and finally 
perishes at Camlan. In one of them, the Cadeir 
Teyrnon (B. T. 15), this idea pervades the whole poem. 
Arthur is the 

Person of two authors 

Of the race of the steel Ala. 

He is mentioned as being 

Among the Gosgordd of the wall. 
The Bard asks 

Who are the three chief ministers 

That guarded the country 1 

And finally 

From the destruction of Chiefs, 
In a butchering manner ; 
From the loricated Legion 
Arose the Guledig. 

In another, the poem in the Black Book which has 
been supposed to refer to the Mabinogi of Kilhwch and 
Olwen, Arthur again appears as the warrior fighting 
in the north, and two of his twelve battles are men- 
tioned — 

In Mynyd Eiddyn 

He contended with Cynvyn. 

And again- 

On the strands of Trywruyd 
Contending with Garwluyd, 
Brave was his disposition. 
With sword and shield. 

And the same body of legionary cavalry is alluded to- 

They were stanch commanders 

Of a legion for the benefit of the country, 

Bedwyn and Bridlaw, 

Nine hundred to them would listen. 


Again, in the Spoils of Annwfn (B. T. 30), in which, 
in its historical sense, an expedition to the dreary region 
north of the wall would be intended — 

Thrice twenty Canhwr stood upon the mur or wall, 

Canhwr is a centurid, or body of 100 men, and 
there were sixty centuries in the Eonian legion, here 
represented as stationed at the wall. 

In the Historia Britonum, the author describes the 
Britons as having been, for forty years after the Romans 
left the island, " sub raetu," which expression he after- 
wards explains as meaning, "sub metu Pictorum et 
Scotorum," and the memory of these fearful and de- 
structive outbursts of ravaging and plundering bands 
of Picts from beyond the wall must have long dwelt 
in their recollection. This we might also expect to 
find reflected in the poems. 

When a poem opens with these lines : — 

How miserable it is to see 

Tumult and commotion, 

Wounds and confusion, 

The Brithwyr in motion, 

And a cruel fate, 

With the impulse of destiny, 

And for the sake of Heaven, 

Declare the discontinuance of the disaster — 

is it possible to doubt that that poem was written at 
a time when the country was still smarting from the 
recollection of their ravages ? Thus, in another poem 
(R B. 23), we have 

Let the chief architects 
Against the fierce Picts 
Be the Morini Brython — 


alluding to the attempt by the Britons to protect 
themselves by the wall. Then, in two other poems, one 
commonly called the Mic Dinbych (B. T. 21), where 
the billows which surround one of the cities are said 
To come to the green sward from the region of the Ffichti ; 
and in another (B. T. 11), where it is said — 

Heamdur and Hyfeid and Gwallawg, 
And Owen of Mona of Maelgwnian energy, 
Will lay the Peithwyr prostrate — 

is it possible to doubt that they must have been written 
when the Picts were still a powerful people in Britain, 
and before their kingdom was merged in that of the 
Scots ? 

The mode in which Mr. Nash deals with these pas- 
sages is characteristic. He ignores the first poem 
altogether, and he so disguises the other passages in 
his translation as to banish the Picts as effectually from 
them as they were ever expelled by the Eoman troops 
from the province. In the passage quoted from the 
second poem, he translates the line — Rac Ffichit 
leuon, before twenty chiefs. Now, Ffichit does not 
mean twenty in Welsh, but Fichead means twenty in 
Gaelic ; and he would rather suppose that the bard 
had introduced a Gaelic word than that he could have 
alluded to such embarrassing people as the Picts. 

In the next passage he translates the line — Ad aw 
hwynt werglas o glas FJichti, " promised to them are 
the drinking-cups of painted glass." If ^ daw hwynt 
means they came, Adaw means a promise ; but how 
Gwerlas can mean drinking-cups I cannot conceive. 


It is always used as meaning " the green sward." Then 
he evidently supposes that glas is the English word 
" glass," instead of the middle form of clas, a region ; 
and thus here, too, he would rather suppose that the 
bard had used the English word " glass," and the Latin 
word " pictus" in its corrupt form ffichti, than that the 
Picts could have been mentioned ; but the technical use 
in Welsh of Ffichti for the Picts is quite established. 

The last passage he thus translates : — " Heamddur 
and Hyfeid Hir, and Gwallawg and Owen of Mona, and 
Maelgwn of great reputation, they would prostrate the 
foe ;" thus quietly suppressing the word Feithwyr, 
which certainly does not mean simply " foe." ^'' 

Nennius mentions the Picts whom Arthur defeated 
at the battle of Mynyd Eiddyn, or Edinburgh, by the 
strange and unusual name of Catbregion ; but we find 
them appearing under that name in another poem in 
the Book of Taliessin (50) : — 

The Cathreith of a strange language will be troubled, 
From the ford of Taradyr to Portwygyr in Mona. 

The ford of Taradyr is the ford of Torrador, across 
the river Carron, the northern boundary of the Picts of 
Manau, near Falkirk. 

* In noticing Mr. Nash's so-called translations, I nfiay remark that 
he invariably translates Welsh on the principle that, if any Welsh word 
resembles an English word, it must be the English word that is used. 
He carries this so far as to translate the well-known word for a ford in 
Welsh, rhyd, by the English word " road." He appears to me to 
translate Welsh somewhat in the same fashion as Hood's school-boy 
translated the first line of Virgil — Arma, virumque cano — An arm, a 
man, and a cane. 


This poem, too, is ignored by Mr. Nash. 

Another portion of these poems must evidently 
have been known to the author of the Genealogia, 
written in the eighth century. After narrating the 
reign of Ida, king of Northumbria, who died in 559, 
he says : — " Tunc Talhaern Cataguen in poemate 
claruit et Neiiin et Taliesin et Bluchbard et Cian qui 
vocatur Gueinthgwant simul uno tempore in poemate 
Britannico claruerunt." Of these four who shone in 
British poetry, it is admitted that the first three are 
Aneurin, Taliessin, and Llywarch Hen, and being 
mentioned in the course of his notice of Bernicia, 
they must have been connected with the north. The 
expression used with regard to them is remarkable. 
It does not simply say that they flourished then, 
but " in poemate Britannico claruerunt." Could 
he have used that expression had there not been 
poemata Britannica, Welsh poems, then well known ? 
and then connect with this some of the subsequent 
notices, " Contra ilium {i.e. Hussa) quatuor regis Urbgen 
et Ridderch Hen et GuaUauc et Morcant dimicaverunt." 
The idea that runs through these notices, and accounts 
for the otherwise apparently unconnected and intru- 
sive mention of the bards, is this : Aneurin, Taliessin, 
and Llywarch Hen, wrote Welsh poems, and it was 
against Hussa that Urien, Ridderch Hen, Gwallawg, 
and Morcant fought. Add to this, that the subject of 
a number of the poems of Taliessin and Llywarch Hen 
was the wars of these very heroes against the Saxons ; 
and can we reasonably doubt that these poems were 


known to the writer ? The next notice is still more signi- 
cant "Deodric, contra ilium Urbgen cum filiis dimicabat 
fortiter." There is but one poem in which Urien is 
mentioned as fighting along with any of his sons. It is 
the Battle of Argoed Llwyfain, attributed to Taliessin 
(B. T. 35), in which Urien and his son Owen are 
attacked by Flamddwyn, the Saxon king, and fight 
valiantly against him. Must this poem not have been 
in the mind of the writer when he here notes — It was 
against Deodric that Urien and his sons fought, — thus 
identifying him with Flamddwyn ? There is another 
allusion of the same kind equally significant. After 
narrating the war between Oswy and Penda, with 
the thirty British kings who assisted him, and their 
slaughter in Campo Gai, he adds, " Et nunc facta est 
strages Gai Campi." Is the idea not this — And it was 
now that the weU-known slaughter of Catraeth took 
place ? for traeth, a shore, is here rendered by Campus 
and Ca, forming in combination Ga, as in Gatraeth, is 
the adjective Gaus agreeing with Campus, and the 
great poem of the Gododin, including the mixed 
portion, which belongs to this period, must have been 
known to the writer. If these inferences are at all 
legitimate, a body of historical poems attributed to the 
same bards, and narrating the same events by the 
same warriors as those which we now have, must have 
been in existence when the author of the Genealogia 
wrote — that is, in the eighth century. 

Further, in examining these poems, we find that 
there runs through the poems in each of the four books 


a date indicated in the poem itself, which is nearly the 
same in all, and is comprised within the first sixty 
years of the seventh or immediately preceding century. 
Thus, in the Book of Caermarthen, there is what I con- 
ceive to be the text of the Avallenau in its original 
shape, and in this text the bard says — 

Ten years and forty, with my treasures, 

Have I been sojourning among ghosts and sprites. 

And the first poem tells us that, after the battle of 

Seven score generous ones become ghosts. 

In the wood of Celyddon they came to an end. 

The battle of Ardderyd was fought in the year 573, 
and ten yea,rs and forty will bring us to 623, not long 
after which the poem may have been composed. 

In the Book of Aneurin, the bard who wrote the 
last part of the Gododin tells us that " from the height 
of Adoyn he saw the head of Dyfnwal Brec devoured 
by ravens ;" but Dyfnwal Brec is no other than 
Donald Brec, king of Dalriada, and the year of his 
death is a fixed era. It was in 642. 

In the Book of Taliessin there is a poem (49) 
which has been much misunderstood. It contains 
these verses : — 

Five chiefs there will be to me 

Of the Gwyddyl Ffichti, 

Of a sinner's disposition, 

Of a race of the knife ; 

Five others there will be to me 

Of the Norddmyn place ; 

The sixth a wonderful king, 

From the sowing to "the reaping ; 


The seventh proceeded 
To the land over the flood ; 
The eighth, of the line of Dyfi, 
Shall not be freed from prosperity. 

The Dyfi or Dovey flows past Corsfochno ; and 
the Traeth Maelgwn, where Maelgwn Gwynedd 
established the sovereignty in his family, is on its shore. 
The kings of his race are the only kings who could be 
said to be of the line of Dyfi or Dovey. The word 
Norddmyn is probably the word translated by the 
author of the Genealogia, where he calls Oswald " Eex 
Nordorum." It is only used on this one occasion, and 
seems, during his reign, to have been applied to the 
kings of the Nordanhymbri. We know that the 
Saxons of Bernicia superseded a Pictish population; 
and there is but one king of the line of Difi who 
became a king of Bernicia, and he was Cadwallawn, a 
descendant of Maelgwn Gwynedd. The passage, 
therefore, appears to refer to Bernicia, which lay south 
of the Firth of Forth. We have first five kings of the 
Gwyddyl Ffichti, then five kings of the Norddmyn — 
Ida, Ella, Ethelric, Ethelfred, and Edwin. The sixth, 
from the sowing to the reaping — that is, from spring 
to harvest — was Osric, who only reigned a few 
months, when he was slain in autumn by CadwaUawn. 
The seventh was Eanfrid, who crossed the flood — that 
is, the Firth of Forth — from the land of the Picts, 
where he had taken refuge, and was likewise slain by 
Cadwallawn, who is the eighth king of the line of 
Dijfi, and the poem must have been written before his 


reverse of fortune in 655. In the poem called Cerdd 
y Vab Llyr (B. T. 14) there is this line— 

A battle against the lord of fame in the dales of Severn, 
Against Brochmail of Powys, who loved my Awen. 

which implies that the bard was contemporary with 
Brochmail, who is mentioned by Bede as being present 
at the battle fought in 613. In the Eed Book of 
Hergest, in the historical poems attributed to Lly warcli 
Hen, there occurs throughout a current of expressions 
which imply that the bard witnessed the events he 
alludes to, and must have lived during the period ex- 
tending from the death of Urien to that of Cadwallawn 
in 659. But what was this period thus indicated in 
so many of the poems, and running through the four 
ancient books ? It was that of the great outburst of 
energy on the part of the Cymry under CadwaUawn, 
when they even, for the time, obtained supremacy over 
the Angles of Northumberland, and throughout his life 
presented a formidable front to their Saxon foes — when 
their hopes must have been excited, and their exultation 
equally great, till, after the first reverse in 655, they 
were finally quenched by the death of Cadwaladyr, 
in the pestilence of 664, who, they fondly hoped, would 
have re-established the power they had enjoyed under 
his father. 

The first poem in the Red Book of Hergest is 
the Cyvoesi Myrddin, and its peculiar form requires 
special consideration. It is a species of chronicle 
written in the shape of a dialogue between Myrddin 
and his sister Gwendydd, in which the latter appeals 


to her brother's prophetical power to foretell the suc- 
cessive rulers over Britain. This is a device of which 
there are other examples, and it is a favourite one in 
rude times. A record of past events is written in the 
shape of a prophecy of future events, and the period of 
its composition is indicated by the termination of a 
distinct and literal record, and the commencement of 
one clothed in figurative and obscure language. This 
is a species of poetic chronicle which is peculiarly 
adapted to addition and interpolation. A few imitative 
verses in the same style can be inserted or added, 
bringing the record from time to time further down. 

The Cyvoesi commences with Rydderch Hael, in 
whose time the prophecy is supposed to be uttered, and 
the bard foretells the rule of Morcant after him ; after 
Morcant, Urien ; and after Urien, Maelgwn Hir. He 
then takes the line of Maelgwn's descendants down to 
Cynan Tindaethwy, when he introduces Mervyn o dir 
Manau, and follows his descendants to Howel dda. 
The record then changes its character, and proceeds to 
foretell a succession of kings under descriptive names, 
until it announces the coming again of Cadwaladyr, 
who is said to reign 303 years and 3 months, and to 
be succeeded by Cjmdaf ; and after some further ob- 
scure references, the poem assumes a more personal 
character, in which the bard is described as having 
been imprisoned beneath the earth, and concludes. 

It has been supposed that this poem must have 
been composed in the reign of Howel dda, who 
died in 948, as after his name the style of the poem 
changes from the direct mention of historic kings 



under their real names to that of a list of apparently 
imaginary kings, designated by obscure epithets ; but 
Mr. Stephens does not admit this, and maintains that 
these obscure epithets can be so easily identified as to 
show that the bard was in fact recording the historic 
successors of Howel dda. An example of this identifi- 
cation will suffice : The bard, when asked. Who will rul e 
after Howel ? answers Y Bargodyein, the borderers. 
Mr. Stephens thinks this word plainly indicates Jevan 
and Jago, the sons of Edwal Voel, king of North Wales, 
because their claim to the throne which they usurped 
only harder ed on a rightful title."'" 

There is reason to think, however, that parts of 
this poem were compiled at an earlier date than the 
reign of Howel dda. It may in fact be divided into 
four parts — the first, from the beginning to the end of 
the 26 th stanza, containing the stanza mentioning Cad- 
waladyr ; the second, from the 26th stanza to the 65th ; 
the third, from the 66th stanza to the 102d; and the 
fourth, from the 102d stanza to the end. 

Now there is this peculiarity in the first part of 
the poem, that it names as the kings who ruled before 
Maelgwn, Urien, Morcant, and Eydderch Hael. Is it 
possible to conceive that any chronicle containing such 
a succession of kings could have been composed in Wales 
even so early as the tenth century ? Would the author 
not have given, in preference, the kings said to have 
ruled in Wales ? Its connection, however, with Nennius 
and with Bernicia is apparent. Nennius states that 
the British kings who fought against the Bernician 

* The italics are Mr. Stephens'. 


kings were Urien, Kydderch, Gwallawg, and Morcant, 
and the Cyvoesi begins its list witli three of them — 
Rydderch, Morcant, and Urien — and then says that 
Maelgwn reigned over Gwynedd only. This part of 
the chronicle must have been composed in the north, 
but after Cadwaladyr there is an obvious break. 
Throughout the previous part, the questions and 
answers alternate, each answer being followed by a 
question. Who ruled next ? But the verse naming 
Cadwaladyr is not followed by a question. The verses 
are as follows — 

25 Though I see thy cheek is direful, 
It comes impulsively to my mind 
Who will rule after Cadwallawn. 

26 A tall man holding a conference, 
And Britain under one sceptre : 

The best of Cymro's sons, Cadwaladyr. 

27 He that comes before me mildly, 
His abilities are they not worthless ? 
After Cadwaladyr, Idwal. 

The question before this last stanza is omitted, but 
if we go on to the mention again of Cadwaladyr, in 
the 102d stanza, which commences the fourth portion 
of the Cyvoesi, we shall find that it must originally 
have immediately succeeded the 26th stanza. Let us 
place them together : — 

25 Though I see thy cheek is direful, 
It comes impulsively to my mind 
Who will rule after Cadwallawn. 

26 A tall man holding a conference, 
And Britain under one sceptre : 

The best of Cymro's sons, Cadwalad}^-. 


102 Do not separate abruptly from me, 
From a dislike to the conference. 
Who will rule after Cadwaladyr 1 

103 To Gwendydd I will declare, 
Age after age I will predict, 
After Cadwaladyr, Cyndav. 

As Cyndav is an imaginary king, I hold that the 
original poem, of which we have a part in the first 
26 stanzas, must have been composed before the death 
of Cadwaladyr, while he was still the hope of the 
Cymry, and must have belonged to the north. 

The second part, which contains the real names of 
the kings to Howel dda, and a list of imaginary kings 
after him, must, I think, notwithstanding Mr. Stephens' 
attempt to identify them, have been added in the 
reign of Howel dda ; and this is confirmed by the fact 
that the successor of Cadwaladyr is made to be his 
son Idwal, and that there is no appearance of Ivor from 
Armorica, who would certainly have been mentioned 
had the poem been composed after the appearance of 
the Bruts. 

The third portion, extending from stanza 66 to 
stanza 102, has probably been added in South Wales 
in the twelfth century. The lord of eight fortresses, 
mentioned in the 65th stanza, may have been 
Kobert Fitz-Hamon, the first Norman who obtained 
Glamorgan, and built castles ; and Mob Henri, in the 
68th stanza, Robert, Earl of Gloucester, who succeeded 
him in Glamorgan, and was son of Henry the First. 

This part of the poem contains a prophecy that 
Cadwaladyr would reappear with a powerful host to 


defend the men of Gwynedd, that he would descend 
in the vale of Tywi, and would reign 303 years. 

There were, however, two very distinct forms in 
which this prophecy of the reappearing of Cadwaladyr 
was conveyed. The first we find in the Afallenau, 
the text of which, as it appears in the Black Book, I 
consider to be that of an old poem. 

The poem in that text concludes with this stanza : — 

Sweet apple-tree, and a tree of crimson hue 
Which grows in concealment in the wood of Celyddon, 
Though sought for their fruit, it will be in vain. 
Until Cadwaladyr comes from the conference of the ford of Rheon, 
And Cynan to meet him advances upon the Saxons. 
The Cymry will be victorious, glowing will be their leader ; 
All shall have their rights, and Britons will rejoice, 
Sounding the horns of gladness, and chanting the song of peace 
and happiness. 

The other form of the prophecy we find in the 
Hoianau, which I agree with Mr. Stephens in con- 
sidering to be spurious. 

In it the expressions are as follows : — 

And I will predict that two rightful princes, 
Will produce peace from heaven to earth — 
CjTian and Cadwaladyr — thorough Cymry, 
May their councils be admired. 

And when Cadwaladyr comes to the subjugation of Mona, 
The Saxons will be extirpated from lovely Britain. 

Stout Cynan appearing from the banks of the Teifi, 
Will cause confusion in Dyfed. 

The form of the prophecy in the Hoianau is ob- 
viously the same with that in the third part of the 
Cyvoesi, which I consider to have been produced in 


South Wales in the twelfth century. In the one, 
Cadwaladyr comes to Mona, and Cynan from the 
valley of the Teifi in Dyfed or South Wales ; in the 
other, Cadwaladyr comes to Gwynedd, and descends 
in the vale of the Tywi in South Wales. 

But the form of the prophecy in the Avallenau is 
very diflferent. There Cadwaladyr comes from a con- 
ference at Ryd Eheon, or the ford of Eeon, and this is 
evidently the same place as Llwch Rheon, which we 
can identify with Loch Ryan in Galloway, and he 
goes to the wood of Celyddon to meet Cynan. 

In the later form of the prophecy Cynan and Cad- 
waladyr come from Armorica. Thus, in the Vita 
Merlini, Geoffrey says — 

The Britons their noble kingdom, 
Shall for a long time lose through weakness, 
Until from Armorica Conan shall come in his car, 
And Cadwaladyr, the honoured leader of the Cymry, 

And the prophecy can only have assumed this shape 
after the fictitious narrative of Cadwaladyr taking re- 
fuge in Armorica was substituted for his death in the 
pestilence, and the scene of his return is placed in South 
Wales, whence this form of the prophecy emerged. 

But the prophecy which connects his reappearance 
with the conference at the ford of Loch Ryan, and 
places the meeting with Conan in the wood of Celyd- 
don, must be much older, and the Cumbrian form of the 
prophecy ; and with this form of it, the first passage 
in the Cyvoesi is obviously connected, which describes 
Cadwaladyr as a tall man holding a conference. 





Of a large proportion, then, of the historical poems, the 
scenery and events lie in the north ; the warriors whose 
deeds they celebrate were " Gwyr y Gogled," or Men of 
the North. They are attributed to bards connected 
with the north, and there is every reason to believe 
them older than the tenth century. They are, in point 
of fact, the literature of the Cymric inhabitants of 
Cumbria before that kingdom was subjugated by the 
Saxon king in 946. 

As soon as this view of their birthplace and home 
is recognised, localities are identified, warriors recog- 
nised, and allusions heretofore obscure become in- 
telligible. During the last half-century of the Roman 
dominion in Britain, the most important military 
events took place at the northern frontier of the pro- 
vince, where it was chiefly assailed by those whom 
they called the barbarian races, and their troops were 
massed at the Roman walls to protect the province. 
After their departure, it was still the scene of a 
struggle between the contending races for supremacy. 


It was here that the provincial Britons had mainly to 
contend under the Guledig against the invading Picts 
and Scots, succeeded by the resistance of the native 
Cymric population of the north to the encroachment 
of the Angles of Bernicia. 

Throughout this clash and jar of contending races, 
a body of popular poetry appears to have grown up, 
and the events of this never-ending war, and the dim 
recollections of social changes and revolutions, seem to 
have been reflected in national lays attributed to 
bards supposed to have lived at the time in which the 
deeds of their warriors were celebrated, and the legends 
of the country preserved in language, which, if not 
poetical, was figurative and obscure. 

It was not till the seventh century that these 
popular lays, floating about among the people, were 
brought into shape, and assumed a consistent form. 
The sudden rise of the CjTnric population to power 
under Cadwallawn, and the burst of national enthusiasm 
and excited hope, found vent in poetry. The Cymry 
were stimulated to coinbined eff'ort by the voice of the 
bards, and poems were composed, and the more ancient 
lays either adapted to their purpose, or embedded as 
fragments in their own compositions. It is in the 
seventh century that I place these poems in their 
earliest consistent shape, and I do not attempt to take 
them further back. 

The hopes excited by the success of Cadwallawn, 
and the expectations formed of his son Cadwaladyr, 
were extinguished by the final defeat of the former in 


655, and the subjection of the Britons to the Angles, 
which lasted nearly thirty years as to the northern 
Britons, and probably much longer as to the southern ; 
and we may well suppose that during this subjection 
the national spirit was kept alive by these popular 
lays, and by prophetic strains as to a possible future 
regeneration of the Cymry, accompanied by the usual 
fable that the king on whom they built so much and 
who was said to have perished in the pestilence of 664, 
had not really died, but would re-appear to renew the 
success of his father. 

The accession to the throne of Wales of Mervyn 
Frych, from the northern region of Manau, seems to 
have brought the knowledge of the Historia Britonum 
to Wales, and the emigration of large bodies of the 
Cymric population to Wales during the reign of 
Anaraut, and the termination of their kingdom in 
946, when Howel dda. Prince of South Wales, oc- 
cupied the throne of all Wales, probably made them 
acquainted with these poems. 

But they appear to have found their new home 
in South Wales. By degrees the memory of the 
Northern Cymric kingdom passed away, the name of 
" Y Gogledd" was transferred from Cumbria to Gwy- 
nedd, and much of the traditionary history of the 
north, obscurely reflected in these poems, was applied 
to North Wales, while the warriors celebrated in them 
had new homes found for them in South Wales. 
To adopt the language of an able modem writer: — 
" To the inhabitants of the south, Gwynedd (of the 


past) was an unknown land. Their imagination filled 
it with giants, fairies, monsters, and magicians. The 
inhabitants exercised strange arts ; they had cauldrons 
of like virtue with that which renewed the youth of 
Aeson ; a red dragon and a white were buried as a 
palladium of their metropolis. Among their monarchs 
was a veritable cat, the offspring of a wandering sow. 
Their chief philosopher was of gigantic stature, and 
sat on a mountain-peak to watch the stars. Their 
wizard-monarch, Gwydion, had the power of efi'ecting 
the strangest metamorphoses. The simple peasant, 
dwelling on the shore of Dyfed, beheld across the sea 
those shadowy mountain-summits pierce the air — 
guardians, as it seemed, of some unearthly region. 
Thence came thfe mists and storms; thence flashed 
aloft the northern streamers ; thence rose through the 
silent sky the starry path of Gwydion." 

It is to this period that I attribute the composition 
of the oldest group of the prose tales and romances, and 
especially those peculiarly called the Mabinogi ; and 
while, soon after, a new school of Welsh poetry, which 
speedily assumed large dimensions and exercised a 
powerful influence, arose in North Wales, the literary 
spirit of South Wales manifested itself more in prose 
composition and in the gradual appearance of spurious 
poetry, written in the style and sentiments of this 
older poetry of Cumbria. 

The introduction of the Arthurian romance into 
South Wales from Armorica led to the appearance of 
the Bruts and to the later class of prose tales and 


romances, and when the kingdom of South Wales 
terminated by the death of Khys ap Tewdwr, and the 
occupation of Glamorgan by the Normans, the extent 
to which the affections of the people seem to have 
centred upon Robert, Earl of Gloucester, as the son of 
Nest, the daughter of their last king, Rhys ap Tewdwr, 
by Henry the First, manifested itself in the last phase 
of this poetry. 

There are therefore four eras connected with these 
poems, each of which was succeeded by a period of 
confusion or national depression : — 

The era of Cadwallawn and Cadwaladyr, in which 
they were first brought into shape ; that of Howel dda 
when they were transferred to South Wales, and when 
some of the later poems in the Book of Taliessin may 
have been composed ; that of Rhys ap Tewdwr and his 
grandson Robert Mab Henri, when much of the spurious 
poetry was written, none of which, however, appears 
in the Book of Taliessin ; and the reign of Henry the 
Second, when some of these poems, with others of 
the period, were first transcribed in the Black Book of 

The translation of these poems contained in this 
work comprises the whole of the poems attributed to 
these ancient bards, whether genuine or spurious, as 
we find them in the four books — the Black Book of 
Caermarthen, the Book of Aneurin, the Book of Taliessin, 
and the Red Book of Hergest; but in these MSS. they do 
not appear in chronological order, or in any systematic 
shape. They are transcribed without reference to date, 



subject, or supposed author, and are interspersed with 
poems by authors of the later period. To print the 
translations in the exact order in which they appear 
in the MSS. would be to present them in a confused 
and uninteUigible shape, and where the same poem 
appears in more than one MS., would lead to double 
translations. It has been thought better, therefore, 
while the translation has been made as literal and 
exact a representation of the text in the MSS. as pos- 
sible, to group the poems so as to bring those which 
relate to the same subject together, and thus afford the 
means of easy comparison as well as facilitate a 
sounder criticism, based upon a true conception of 
their character in their mutual bearing upon each 

The translations are therefore printed in the follow- 
ing order : — The poems which are either, strictly speak- 
ing, historical, or which contain historical allusions, 
are separated in each of the four books from those 
which contain merely the sentiments of the poet, and 
the latter are classed under the head of " Miscellaneous 
Poems." Those that may be called " Historical" fall into 
two divisions. The first comprises those which contain 
allusions to early traditions or events prior to the year 
560 when Gildas wrote, and to the time when the war- 
riors fought with the kings of Bernicia, whose names 
are recorded by the author of the Genealogia. This 
division contains the whole of those poems which 
contain allusions to the persons mentioned in the 
oldest class of the prose tales or Mabinogion. There 


are, first, grouped together under letter A, five poems 
which refer to early traditions ; under letter B, four 
poems which mention Arthur by name ; and it is 
somewhat remarkable that out of this large body of 
popular poetry there are only these four preserved, 
and one other, placed in another group, which mention 
him at all. Under letter C, eight poems, which refer to 
Llew and Gwydion, and the combination of the 
Brython and Gwyddyl, or to the Brithwyr. Under 
letter D has been placed a poem in the Black Book 
of Caermarthen relating to Gwyddno Garanhir and the 
mythic Gwynn ap Nudd. Under the letter E four 
poems in the Book of Tahessin, which belong to a 
later period ; one of these, " the Kadeir Kerritwen," 
mentions the Books of Beda, and must have been 
written after his death ; another mentions the line of 
Anaraut, who died in 913 ; and the other two contain 
allusions to the name of Hu, who belongs to a later 
school. One poem in the Black Book attributed to 
Gwyddneu is also included in this group. And under 
letter F are placed five poems, two relating to cities of 
the Cymry, either real or symbolical, and three relating 
to the legendary heroes generally, and consisting of 
the Triads of the Heroes in the Black Book of Caer- 
marthen, the Song of the Horses in the Book of Talies- 
sin, and the Graves of the Warriors in the former book. 
The second division comprises the poems more 
strictly historical, and alluding to events subsequent 
to 560. Under letter G are placed four poems 
attributed to Llvwarch Hen, in which the war be- 


tween his son Mechyd and Mwg Mawr Drefydd is 
referred to. Under letter H are three poems relating 
to Gwallawg ap Lleenawg, one of the four kings re- 
corded to have fought against Hussa, who reigned from 
567 to 574. Under letter I are nine poems relating 
to Urien, another of the four kings, concluding with 
his Death-song. And under letter J are three poems 
relating to his son Owen, one of the sons who was 
recorded to have fought with their father Urien against 
Theodric, who reigned from 580 to 587, and concluding 
with the Death-song of Owen. 

Under letter K is the first poem in the Book of 
Caermai-then, which relates to the battle of Ardderyd, 
fought in 573, and the Avallenau, which is placed 
appropriately after it. Under letter L are the poems 
relating to the Gododin and the battle of Catraeth. 
Under letter M are three poems relating directly to 
Cadwallawn, and concluding with his Death-song ; and 
under letter N the two poems termed Arymes, or 
the Omen, and another prophetic poem relating to Cad- 
waladyr. Under letter are two poems relating to 
events in Powys — one from the Book of Taliessin, and 
the other from the Eed Book of Hergest. Under let- 
ter P the Cyvoesi is first placed, which, as we have 
seen, ranges in its composition from the time of Cad- 
waladyr in the seventh to that of Robert, Earl of Glou- 
cester, in the twelfth centuries ; and after it are placed 
six poems, which I conceive to have emerged from 
South Wales. And this concludes the group of poems 
which I denominate historical. 


The " Miscellaneous poems" consist first of those in 
the Black Book of Caermarthen, and are placed in 
three groups. Under letter Q are placed five poems 
attributed to other bards — Meigant, Cuhelyn, and 
Elaeth. Under letter K ten anonymous poems on 
religious subjects; and under letter S two poems, 
which seem connected, and the first of which is the 
curious poem relating to Yscolan. 

There is only one poem in the Book of Aneurin, 
the Gorchan Adebon, which is not historical. It is 
placed under letter T. 

The " Miscellaneous poems" from the Book of Tali- 
essin are placed under three groups. Under letter U 
are twelve poems, containing allusions to the personal 
history of Taliessin, or expressing his opinions on 
philosophy or religion. Under letter V four poems, 
containing allusions to the history of the Israelites. 
Under letter W two poems, relating to the legends 
connected with Alexander the Great. 

The "Miscellaneous poems" from the Eed Book of 
Hergest consist of three groups — one, under letter X, 
of seven poems attributed to Llywarch Hen, which are 
not historical ; imder letter Y, of two poems, beginning 
Eiry Mynyd, one of which is called the Colloquy of 
Llywel3rn and Gwmerth ; and under letter Z, of two 
other anonymous poems, the last of which is termed 
the Viaticum of Llevoed Wynebglawr. 










The Eeconciliation of Llud the Less, 
book of taliessin liv. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 213. Notes, vol. ii. p. 422. 

3fcN the name of the God of Trinity, of knowing charity, 
A tribe numerous, ungentle their arrogance. 
Have overrun Prydain, chief of isles. 
Men of the land of Asia, and land of Gafis. 
A people of perfect prudence, their country is not known. 
Their mother country ; they deviated on account of the sea. 
Flowing their coats ; who is like them ? 
With discretion let the work of foes be brought about, 
Europin, Arafin, Arafanis. 
10 The Christian unmindful was impelled certainly 
Before the reconciliation of Llud and Llevelys. 
The possessor of the fair isle trembled 
Before the chief from Rome, of splendid terror. 
Neither hesitating nor crafty the king, fluent his speech. 
"Who has seen what I have seen of the strange speech ? 
There were formed a square mast, the clarions of journey, 
Before the presence of Roman leader there is conflagration. 


The son of Gradd, of fluent speech, retaliated, 
Cymry burning : war on slaves. 
20 I will consider, I will deliberate who caused them to go. 
The Brythonic energy arose. 


The Death-Song of Corroi, Son of Dayry. 

Text, voL ii. p. 198. Notes, voL ii. p. 417. 

I. JPHHY large fountain fills the river, 

Thy coming will make thy value of little worth. 

The death-song of Corroy agitates me. 

If the warrior will allure, rough his temper. 

And his evil was greater than its renown was great, 

To seize the son of Dayry, lord of the southern sea, 

Celebrated wa,s his praise before she was entrusted to him. 

II. Thy large fountain fills the stream. 

Thy coming will cause saddling without haste, 
The death-song of Corroi is with me now. 
If (the warrior) will aUure. 

m. Thy large fountain fills the deep. 

Thy arrows traverse the strand, not frowning or depressed. 

The warrior conquers, great his rank of soldiers, 

And after penetrating enters towns 

And . . . the pure stream was promptly whitened. 

Whilst the victorious one in the morning heaps carnage ; 

Tales will be known to me from sky to earth. 

Of the contention of Corroi and Cocholyn, 

Numerous their tumults about their borders. 


Springs the chief o'er the surrounding mead of the some- 
what gentle wood. 
A Caer there was, love-dififusing, not paling, not trembling. 
Happy is he whose soul is rewarded, 


The Death-Song of Erof. 

book of taliessin xl. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 196. Notes, vol. ii p. 416. 

~5^EEE changed the elements 

Like night into day, 

When came the gloriously-free, 

Ercwlf chief of baptism. 

Ercwlf said, 

That he valued not death. 

Shield of the Mordei 

Upon him it broke. 

Ercwlf the arranger, 
10 Determined, frantic. 

Four columns of equal length ; 

Ruddy gold along them. 

The columns of Ercwlf 

Will not dare a threatening, 

A threatening will not dare. 

The heat of the sun did not leave him. 

No one went to heaven 

Until went he, 

Ercwlf the wall-piercer. 
20 May the sand be my covering. 

May the Trinity grant me 

Mercy on the day of judgment. 

In unity without want. 



Text, vol, ii. p. 197. Notes, vol. ii. p. 416. 

^liADAWG, the joy of the waU, 

Madawg, before he was in the grave, 

"Was a fortress of abundance 

Of games, and society. 

The son of Uthyr before he was slain. 

From his hand he pledged thee. 

Erof the cruel came. 

Of impotent joy ; 

Of impotent sorrow. 
10 Erof the cruel caused 

Treacheries to Jesus. 

Though he believed. 

The earth quaking, 

And the elements darkening, 

And a shadow on the world. 

And baptism trembling. 

An impotent step 

Was taken by fierce Erof, 

Going in the course of things 
20 Among the hideous fiends 

Even to the bottom of Uffern. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 200. Notes, vol. ii. p. 418. 

BE am Taliesin the ardent ; 

I will enrich the praise of baptism. 

At the baptism of the ruler, the worshipper wondered. 

The conflict of the rocks and rocks and plain. 

There is trembling from fear of Cunedda the burner, 

In Caer Weir and Caer Lliwelydd. 

There is trembling from the mutual encounter. 

A complete billow of fire over the seas, 

A wave in which the brave fell among his companions. 
10 A hundred received his attack on the earth, 

Like the roaring of the wind against the ashen spears. 

His dogs raised their backs at his presence. 

They protected, and believed in his kindness. 

The bards are arranged according to accurate canons. 

The death of Cunedda, which I deplore, is deplored. 

Deplored be the strong protector, the fearless defender, 

He wiU assimilate, he will agree with the deep and shallow, 

A deep cutting he wiU agree to. 

(His) discourse raised up the bard stricken in poverty, 
20 Harder against an enemy than a bone. 

Pre-eminent is Cunedda before the furrow (i. e. the grave) 

And the sod. His face was kept 

A hundred times before there was dissolution. A door- 

The men of Bryniich carried in the battle. 

They became pale from fear of him and his terror chill- 

Before the earth was the portion of his end. 
VOL. L s 


Like a swarm of swift dogs about a thicket. 

Sheathing (swords is) a worse cowardice than adversity. 

The destiny of an annihilating sleep I deplore, 
30 For the palace, for the shirt of Cunedda ; 

For the salt streams, for the freely-dropping sea. 

For the prey, and the quantity I lose. 

The sarcasm of bards that disparage I will harrow. 

And others that thicken I will count. 

He was to be admired in the tumult with nine hundred 

Before the communion of Cunedda, 

There would be to me milch cows in summer. 

There would be to me a steed in winter, 

There would be to me bright wine and oil. 
40 There would be to me a troop of slaves against any advance. 

He was diligent of heat from an equally brave visitor. 

A chief of lion aspect, ashes become his feUow-countrymen, 

Against the son of Edern, before the supremacy of terrors. 

He was fierce, dauntless, irresistible. 

For the streams of death he is distressed. 

He carried the shield in the pre-eminent place, 

Truly valiant were his princes. 

Sleepiness, and condolence, and pale front, 

A good step, will destroy sleep from a believer. 





The Chair of the Sovereign. 

book of taliessin xv. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 155. Notes, vol. ii. p. 404. 

JpflHE declaration of a clear song, 

Of unbounded Awen, 

About a warrior of two authors. 

Of the race of the steel Ala. 

With his staff and his wisdom, 

And his swift irruptions, 

And his sovereign prince. 

And his scriptural number. 

And his red purple, 
10 And his assault over the wall, 

And his appropriate chair. 

Amongst the retinue of the wall 

Did not (he) lead from Cawrnur 

Horses pale supporting burdens ? 1 

The sovereign elder. 

The generous feeder. 

The third deep wise one. 

To bless Arthur, 

Arthur the blessed, 
20 In a compact song. 

On the face in battle. 

Upon himr a restless activity. 

Who are the three chief ministers 

That guarded the country ? 


Who are the three skilful (ones) 
r That kept the token ? 

That will come with eagerness 

To meet their lord ? 

High (is) the virtue of the course, 
30 High will be the gaiety of the old, 

High (is) the horn of travelling. 

High the kine in the evening. 

High (is) truth when it shines, 

Higher when it speaks. 

High when came from the cauldron 

The three awens of Gogyrwen. 

I have been Mynawg, wearing a collar. 

With a horn in my hand. 

He deserves not the chair 
40 That keeps not my word. 

With me is the splendid chair, 

The inspiration of fluent (and) urgent song. 

What the name of the three Caers, 

Between the flood and the ebb ? 

No one knows who is not pressing 

The offspring of their president. 

Four Caers there are. 

In Prydain, stationary, 

Chiefs tumultuous. 
50 As for what may not be, it will not be. 

It wiU not be, because it may not be. 

Let him be a conductor of fleets. 

Let the billow cover over the shingle. 

That the land becomes ocean. 

So that it leaves not the clifis. 

Nor hiU nor dale, 

Nor the least of shelter, 

Against the wind when it shall rage. 




The chair of the sovereign 
60 He that keeps it is skilful 

Let them be sought there ! 

Let the munificent be sought. 

Warriors lost, 

I think in a wTathful manner. 

From the destruction of chiefs. 

In a butchering manner, 

From the loricated Legion, 1 

Arose the Guledig, -J. 

Around the old renowned boundary. 
70 The sprouting sprigs are broken, 

Fragile in like manner. 

Fickle and dissolving. 

Around the violent borders. 

Are the flowing languages. 

The briskly-moving stream 

Of roving sea-adventurers, 

Of the children of Saraphiu. 

A task deep (and) pure 

To liberate Elphin. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 50. Notes, vol. ii. p. 350. 

~5^^HAT man is the porter ? 

Glewlwyd Gavaelvawr. 

Who is the man that asks it ? 

Arthur and the fair Cai 

How goes it with thee ? 

Truly in the best way in the world. 

Into my house thou shalt not come, 


Unless thou prevailest. 

I forbid it. 
10 Thou shalt see it. 

If Wythnaint were to go, 

The three would be unlucky : — 

Mabon, the son of Mydron, 

The servant of Uthir Pendragon ; 

Cysgaint, the son of Banon ; 

And Gwyn Godybrion. 

Terrible were my servants 

Defending their rights. 

Manawydan, the son of Llyr, 
20 Deep was his counsel. 

Did not Manawyd bring 

Perforated shields from Trywruid ? 

And Mabon, the son of Mellt, 

Spotted the grass with blood ? 

And Anwas Adeiniog, 

And Uwch Llawynnog — 

Guardians were they 

On Eiddyn Cymminog, 

A chieftain that patronised them. 
30 He would have his will and make redress. 

Cai entreated him, 

While he killed every third person. 

When Celli was lost, 

Cuelli was found ; and rejoiced 

Cai, as long as he hewed down. 

Arthur distributed gifts, 

The blood trickled down. 

In the hall of Awarnach, 

Fighting with a hag, 
40 He cleft the head of Palach. 

In the fastnesses of Dissethach, 


In Mynyd Eiddyn, 

He contended with Cynvyn ; 

By the hundred there they fell, 

There they fell by the hundred, 

Before the accomplished Bedwyr. 

On the strands of Trywruid, 

Contending with Garwlwyd, 

Brave was his disposition, 
50 With sword and shield ; 

Vanity were the foremost men 

Compared with Cai in the battle. 

The sword in the battle 

Was unerring in his hand. 

They were stanch commanders 

Of a legion for the benefit of the country — 

Bedwyr and Bridlaw ; 

Nine hundred would to them listen ; 

Six hundred gasping for breath 
60 Would be the cost of attacking them. 

Servants I have had. 

Better it was when they were. 

Before the chiefs of Emrais 

I saw Cai in haste. 

Booty for chieftains 

Was Gwrhir among foes ; 

Heavy was his vengeance, 

Severe his advance. 

When he drank from the horn, 
70 He would drink with four. 

To battle when he would come 

By the hundred would he slaughter ; 

There was no day that would satisfy him. 

Unmerited was the death of Cai 

Cai the fair, and Ilachau, 


Battles did they sustain, 
Before the pang of blue shafts. 
I In the heights of Ystavingon 
Cai pierced nine witches. 
80 Cai the fair went to Mona, 
To devastate Llewon. 
His shield was ready 
Against Cath Palug 
When the people welcomed him. 
Who pierced the Cath Palug ? 
Nine score before dawn 
Would fall for its food. 
Nine score chieftains. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 181. Notes, voL ii. p. 410. 

I. ^t WILL praise the sovereign, supreme king of the land, 
Wlio hath extended his dominion over the shore of the 

Complete was the prison of Gweir in Caer Sidi, 
Through the spite of Pwyll and Pryderi. 
No one before him went into it. 
The heavy blue chain held the faithful youth, 
And before the spoils of Annwvn woefully he sings, 
And till doom shall continue a bard of prayer. 
Thrice enough to fill Prydwen, we went into it ; 
Except seven, none returned from Caer Sidi. 

II. Am I not a candidate for fame, if a song is heard ? 
In Caer Pedryvan, four its revolutions ; 
In the first word from the cauldron when spoken. 


From the breath of nine maidens it was gently warmed. 
Is it not the cauldron of the chief of Annwvn ? What is 

its intention ? 
A ridge about its edge and pearls. 
It will not boU the food of a coward, that has not been 

A sword bright gleaming to him was raised. 
And in the hand of Lleminawg it was left. 
And before the door of the gate of Uffem the lamp was 

And when we went with Arthur, a splendid labour, 
Except seven, none returned from Caer Vedwyd. 

III. Am I not a candidate for fame with the h'stened song 
In Caer Pedryvan, in the isle of the strong door ? 
The twilight and pitchy darkness were mixed together. 
Bright wine their liquor before their retinue. 

Thrice enough to fill Prydwen we went on the sea. 
Except seven, none returned from Caer Eigor. 

IV. I shall not deserve much from the ruler of literature, 
Beyond Caer Wydyr they saw not the prowess of Arthur. 
Three score Canhwr stood on the wall, 

Difficult was a conversation with its sentinel. 

Thrice enough to fill Prydwen there went with Arthur, 

Except seven, none returned from Caer Golud. 

V. I shall not deserve much from those with long shields. 
They know not what day, who the causer. 
What hour in the serene day Cwy was born. ^ 
Who caused that he should not go to the dales of Devwy. 
They know not the brindled ox, thick his head-band. 
Seven score knobs in his collar. 
And when we went with Arthur of anxious memory, 
Except seven, none returned from Caer Vandwy. 



VI, I shall not deserve much from those of loose bias, 
They know not what day the chief was caused. 
What hour in the serene day the owner was born. 
What animal they keep, silver its head. 
When we went with Arthur of anxious contention, 
Except seven, none returned from Caer Ochren. 

VII. Monks congregate like dogs in a kennel, 

From contact with their superiors they acquire knowledge, 
Is one the course of the wind, is one the water of the sea ? 
Is one the spark of the fire, of unrestrainable tumult ? 
Monks congregate like wolves. 

From contact with their superiors they acquire knowledge. 
They know not when the deep night and dawn divide. 
Nor what is the course of the wind, or who agitates it. 
In what place it dies away, on what land it roars. 
The grave of the saint is vanishing from the altar-tomb. 
I will pray to the Lord, the great supreme. 
That I be not wretched. Christ be my portion. 


Geraint, Son of Erbin. 

Text, voL ii p. 37. Notes, voL iL p. 345. 

Text, voL ii. p. 274. Notes, vol. ii. p. 441. 

I. ]^^EFOEE Geraint, the enemy of oppression, 
I saw white horses jaded and gory, 
And after the shout, a terrible resistance. . 



II. Before Geraint, the unflmching foe, 

I saw horses jaded and gory from the battle. 
And after the shout, a terrible impulsion, 

III. Before Geraint, the enemy of tyranny, 
I saw horses white with foam. 

And after the shout, a terrible torrent. 

IV. In Llongborth I saw the rage of slaughter. 
And biers beyond all number, 

And red-stained men from the assault of Geraint. 

V. In Llongborth I saw the edges of blades in contact. 
Men in terror, and blood on the pate. 
Before Geraint, the great son of his father. 

VI. In Llongborth I saw the spurs 

Of men who would not flinch from the dread of the spears. 
And the drinking of wine out of the bright glass. 

VII. In Llongborth I saw the weapons 
Of men, and blood fast dropping, 
And after the shout, a fearful return. 

VIII. In Llongborth I saw Arthur, 

And brave men who hewed down with steel. 
Emperor, and conductor of the toil. 

IX. In Llongborth Geraint was slain, 

A brave man from the region of Dyvnaint, 
And before they were overpowered, they committed 


X. Under the thigh of Geraint were swift racers, 
Long-legged, with wheat for their corn, 
Euddy ones, with the assault of spotted eagles. 

XI. Under the thigh of Geraint were swift racers. 
Long their legs, grain was given them, 
Euddy ones, with the assault of black eagles. 

XII. Under the thigh of Geraint were swift racers, 
Long-legged, restless over their grain, 
Euddy ones, with the assault of red eagles. 

XIII. Under the thigh of Geraint were swift racers. 
Long-legged, grain-scattering, 

Euddy ones, with the assault of white eagles. 

XIV. Under the thigh of Geraint were swift racers, 
Long-legged, with tlie pace of the stag, 

With a nose like that of the consuming fire on a wild 

XV. Under the thigh of Geraint were swift racers. 
Long-legged, satiated with grain, 
Grey ones, with their manes tipped with silver. 

XVI. Under the thigh of Geraint were swift racers, 
Long-legged, well deserving of grain, 
Euddy ones, with the assault of grey eagles. 

XVII. Under the thigh of Geraint were swift racere, 
Long-legged, having com for food, 
Euddy ones, with the assault of brown eagles. 

XVIII. When Geraint was born, open were the gates of heaven, 
Christ granted what was asked, 
Beautiful the appearance of glorious Prydain. 






book of taliessin x. 

Text, vol. ii. jj. 147. Notes, vol. ii. p. 400. 

^3* OD preserve the heavens 

From a flood wide spreading. 

The first surging billow 

Has rolled over the sea-beach. 

What tree is greater 

Than he, Daronwy ? 

I know not for a refuge 

Around the proud circle of heaven, 

That there is a mystery which is greater. 
10 The light of the men of Goronwy. 

Perhaps it may be known. 

The magic wand of Mathonwy, 

In the wood when it grows. 

Fruits more profitable, 

On the bank of Gwyllyonwy. 

Cynan shall obtain it, 

At the time when he governs. 

There will come yet 

Over the ebb and over the strand, 
20 Four chief sovereignties, 

And the fifth not worse. 

Men vehement, extensive. 


Over Prydain (their) purpose. 

Women shall be eloquent, 

Strangers shall be captive, 

A torrent of longing 

For mead and horsemanship. 

Tliere will come two ladies, 

A widow, and a slender single one ; 
30 Iron their wings, 

On warriors brooding. 

Chieftains will come, 

From about the land of Eome. 

Their song will harmonise, 

Their praise will spread abroad. 

The nature of the oak and thorns 

In song will harmonise. 

A dog to draw, 

A horse to move. 
40 An ox to gore ; a sow to turn up. 

The fifth fair young beast Jesus made 

From the apparel of Adam to proceed. 

The foliage of trees, fair to behold them, 

Whilst they were, and whilst it was. 

When the Cymry shall commit transgressions, 

A foreigner will be found, who will love what was ? 

I have leaped a leap from a clear leap, 

Good has been dispersed abroad, if a person finds no 

The funeral-pile of Eun, it is an expiation, 
50 Between Caer Eian and Caer Rywg, 

Between Dineiddyn and Dineiddwg ; 

A clear glance and a watchful sight. 

From the agitation of fire smoke will be raised, 

And God our Creator will defend us. 


The Praisk of Lludd the Great, 

Text, vol. ii. p. 207. Notes, vol. ii. p. 421. 

J^IpIHE best song they will dispraise. 
Eight numbers they will protect, 
Monday, they will come, 
Devastating they will go. 
Tuesday, they will portion 
Anger against the adversary. 
Wednesday, they will reap. 
Pomp in excess. 
Thursday, they will part with 
10 The undesired possessor. 
Friday, a day of abundance 
In the blood of men they will swim. 

Sunday, certainly. 
Assuredly there will come 
Five ships and five hundred 
That make supplication — 

Brithi, BritU ! 

Co-occwpancy or tattle. 
20 Brithi, Brithanai ! 

Before tattle, tattle of spears in the field. 
Son of the wood of Cogni, 
There will be an adventuring of 
Every one to Adonai 
On the sward of Pwmpai. 
An intimation they prophesy 
A long cry against overwhelming, 


Long the public hannony 

Of Cadwaladyr and Cynan. 
30 The world's profit (is) small, 

The heat of the sun is lost. 

The Druid will prophesy 

What has been will be. 

Sky of Geirionydd, 

I would go with thee 

Gloomy like the evening, 

In the recesses of the mountain. 

When should be the full length 

The Brython in chasing. 
40 To the Brython there will be 

Blood of glorious strenuousness, 

After gold and golden trinkets. 

The devastation of Moni and Lleeni, 

And Eryri, a dwelling in it. 

It is a perfect prophecy, 

With dwellings laid waste. 

The Cymry of four languages 

Shall change their speech. 

Until shall come the cow, the speckled cow 
50 That shall cause a blessing 

On a fine day lowing, 

On a fine night being boiled. 

On the land of the boiler, 

In the ships of the consumer. 

Let the song of woe be chaunted. 

Around the encircling border of Prydain. 

They will come, with one purpose, 

To resist a maritime disgrace. 

Be true the happiness 
60 Of the sovereign of the world. 

The worshippers adored together. 




To the dale of grievous water it was gone. 

A portion full of corn 

Invites conflagration. 

Without Eppa, without a cow-stall. 

Without a luxury of the world. 

The world will be desolate, useless. 

The deceitful will be fated. 

Activity through freshness. 
VO Small men are almost deceived 

By the white-bellied trotter. 

A hawk upon baptism 

The swords of warriors wiU not pierce Cyllellawr. 

They had not what they wished for. 
. Violent is the grasp of the townman, 

And to warriors there is a love of blood. 

C}Tnry, Angles, Gwyddyl, of Prydyn. 

The Cymry, swift in mischief, 

Will launch their ships on the lake. 
80 The North has been poisoned by rovers 

Of a livid hateful hue and foruL 

Of the race of Adam the ancient. 

The third will be brought to set out, 

Ravens of the accurate retinue. 

The sluggish animals of Seithin. 

On sea, an anchor on the Christian. 

A cry from the sea, a cry from the mountain, 

A cry from the sea, they vigorously utter. 

Wood, field, dale, and hill. 
90 Every speech without any one attending. 

High minded from every place 

There will be confusion. 

A multitude enraged, 

And distress diffused 

Vengeances through ready belief abiding. 

VOL. I. T 


That the Creator afflicts, the powerful God of 
exalted state. 

A long time before the day of doom. 

There will come a day 

And a reader will rise, 
100 In the pleasant border of the land of Iwerdon, 

To Prydain then will come exaltation, 

Brython of the nobility of Eome. 

There will be to me a judge unprejudiced, void 
of guile; 

The astrologers (or diviners) prophesy, 

In the land of the lost ones. 

Druids prophesy 

Beyond the sea, beyond the Brython. 

The summer will not be serene weather, 

The noblemen shall be broken, 
110 It will come to them from treachery 

Beyond the eff'usion of the father of Ked. 

A thousand in the judgment of exalted Prydain, 

And within its united boundary. 

May I not fall into the embrace of the swamp. 

Into the mob that peoples the depths of Uffern. 

I greatly fear the flinty covering 

With the Guledig of the boundless country. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 153. Notes, vol. ii. p. 403. 

2t WILL adore the love-diffusing Lord of every kindred. 
The sovereign of hosts manifestly round the universe. 
A battle at the feast over joyless beverage, 
A battle against the sons of Llyr in Ebyr Henvelen. 


I saw the oppression of the tumult, and wrath and 

The blades gleamed on the glittering helmets, 
A battle against the lord of fame, in the dales of the Severn, 
Against Brochwel of Powys, that loved my Awen. 
A battle in the pleasant course early against Urien, 

10 There falls about our feet blood on destruction. 

Shall not my chair be defended from the cauldron of 

Ceridwen ? 
May my tongue be free in the sanctuary of the praise of 

The praise of Gogyrwen is an oblation, which has satisfied 
Them, with milk, and dew, and acorns. 
Let us consider deeply before is heard confession. 
That is coming assuredly death nearer and nearer. 
And round the lands of Enlli the Dyvi has poured, 
Eaising the ships on the surface of the plain. 
And let us call upon him that hath made us, 

20 That he may protect us from the wrath of the alien nation. 
When the isle of Mona shall be called a pleasant field, 
Happy they the mild ones, the affliction of the Saxons. 
I came to Deganwy to contend 
With Maelgwn, the greatest in delinquencies, 
I liberated my lord in the presence of the distributor, 
Elphin, the sovereign of greatly aspiring ones. 
There are to me three chairs regular, accordant. 
And until doom they will continue with the singers. 
I have been in the battle of Godeu, with Lieu and 

30 They changed the form of the elementary trees and sedges. 
I have been with Bran in Iwerdon. 
I saw when was killed Morddwydtyllon. 
I heard a meeting about the minstrels, 
With the Gwyddyl, devils, distillers. 


From Peniyn Wleth to Loch Reon 
The Cymry are of one mind, bold heroes. 
Deliver thou the Cymry in tribulation. 
Three races, cruel from true disposition, 
Gwyddyl, and Brython, and Eomani, 
40 Create discord and confusion. 

And about the boundary of Prydain, beautiful its towns, 
There is a battle against chiefs above the mead-vessels, 
In the festivals of the Distributor, who bestowed gifts 

upon me. 
The chief astrologers received wonderful gifts. 
Complete is my chair in Caer Sidi, 
No one wiU be afflicted with disease or old age that may 

be in it. 
It is known to Manawyd and Pryderi. 
Three utterances, around the fire, will he sing before it, 
And around its borders are the streams of the ocean. 
50 And the fruitful fountain is above it, 

Is sweeter than white wine the liquor therein. 

And when I shall have worshipped thee, Most High, 

before the sod 
May I be found in covenant with thee. 

The Battle of Godeu. 
book of taliessin viii. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 137. Notes, voL ii. p. 399. J 

3l£ HAVE been in a multitude of shapes, 
Before I assumed a consistent form. 
I have been a sword, narrow, variegated, 
I will believe when it is apparent. 


I have been a tear in the air, 

I have been the dullest of stars. 

I have been a word among letters, 

I have been a book in the origin. 

I have been the light of lanterns, 
10 A year and a half 

I have been a continuing bridge, 

Over three score Abers. 

I have been a course, I have been an eagle. 

I have been a coracle in the seas : 

I have been compliant in the banquet. 

I have been a drop in a shower ; 

I have been a sword in the grasp of the hand : 

I have been a shield in battle. 

I have been a string in a harp, 
20 Disguised for nine years. 

In water, in foam. 

I have been sponge in the lire, 

I have been wood in the covert. 

I am not he who will not sing of 

A combat though small, 

The conflict in the battle of Godeu of sprigs. 

Against the Guledig of Prydain, 

There passed central horses, 

Fleets full of riches. 
30 There passed an animal with wide jaws, 

On it there were a hundred heads. 

And a battle was contested 

Under the root of his tongue ; 

And another battle there is 

In his occiput. 

A black sprawling toad. 

With a hundred claws on it. 

A snake speckled, crested. 


A hundred souls through sin 
40 Shall be tormented in its flesh. 

I have been in Caer Vevenir, 

Thither hastened grass and trees, 

Minstrels were singing, 

Warrior-bands were wondering, 

At the exaltation of the Brython, 

That Gwydyon effected. 

There was a calling on the Creator, 

Upon Christ for causes, 

Until when the Eternal 
50 Should deliver those whom he had made. 

The Lord answered them, 

Through language and elements : 

Take the forms of the principal trees. 

Arranging yourselves in battle array, 

And restraining the public. 

Inexperienced in battle hand to hand. 

"When the trees were enchanted, 

In the expectation of not being trees, 

The trees uttered their voices 
60 From strings of harmony. 

The disputes ceased. 

Let us cut short heavy days, 

A female restrained the din. 

She came forth altogether lovely. 

The head of the line, the head was a female. 

The advantage of a sleepless cow 

Would not make us give way. 

The blood of men up to our thighs. 

The greatest of importunate mental exertions 
70 Sported in the world. 

And one has ended 

From considering the deluge, 



And Christ crucified, 

And the day of judgment near at hand. 

The alder-trees, the head of the line, 

Formed the van. 

The willows and quicken-trees 

Came late to the army. 

Plum-trees, that are scarce, 
80 Unlonged for of men. 

The elaborate medlar-trees, 

The objects of contention. 

The prickly rose-bushes, 

Against a host of giants, 

Tlie raspberry brake did 

What is better failed 

For the security of life. 

Privet and woodbine 

And ivy on its front, 
90 Like furze to the combat 

The cherry-tree was provoked. 

The birch, notwithstanding his high mind, 

Was late before he was arrayed. 

Not because of his cowardice. 

But on account of his greatness. 

The laburnum held in mind. 

That your wild nature was foreign. 

Pine-trees in the porch, 

The chair of disputation, 
100 By me greatly exalted. 

In the presence of kings. 

The elm with his retinue, 

Did not go aside a foot ; 

He would fight with the centre. 

And the flanks, and the rear. 

Hazel-trees, it was judged 


That ample was thy mental exertion. 

The privet, happy his lot. 

The bull of battle, the lord of the world. 
110 Morawg and Morydd 

Were made prosperous in pines. 

Holly, it was tinted with green, 

He was the hero. 

The hawthorn, surrounded by prickles, 

With pain at his hand. 

The aspen-wood has been topped, 

It was topped in battle. 

The fern that was plundered. 

The broom, in the van of the army, 
120 In the trenches he was hurt. 

The gorse did not do well, 

Notwithstanding let it overspread. 

The heath was victorious, keeping off on all 

The common people were charmed. 

During the proceeding of the men. 

The oak, quickly moving. 

Before him, tremble heaven and earth. 

A valiant door-keeper against an enemy, 

His name is considered. 
130 The blue-beUs combined. 

And caused a consternation. 

In rejecting, were rejected. 

Others, that were perforated. 

Pear-trees, the best intruders 

In the conflict of the plain. 

A very wrathful wood. 

The chestnut is bashful, 

The opponent of happiness. 

The jet has become black, 



140 The mountain has become crooked. 

The woods have become a kiln, 

Existing formerly in the great seas, 

Since was heard the shout : — 

The tops of the birch covered us with leaves, 

And transformed us, and changed our faded state. 

The branches of the oak have ensnared us 

From the Gwarchan of Maelderw. 

Laughing on the side of the rock, 

The lord is not of an ardent natura 
150 Not of mother and father, 

When I was made. 

Did my Creator create me. 

Of nine-formed faculties. 

Of the fruit of fruits, 

Of the fruit of the primordial God, 

Of primroses and blossoms of the hill, 

Of the flowers of trees and shrubs. 

Of earth, of an earthly course, 

When I was formed. 
160 Of the flower of nettles. 

Of the water of the ninth wave. 

I was enchanted by Math, 

Before I became immortal, 

I was enchanted by Gwydyon 

The great purifier of the Brython, 

Of Eurwys, of Euron, 

Of Euron, of Modron. 

Of five battalions of scientific ones, 

Teachers, children of Math. 
170 When the removal occurred, 

I was enchanted by the Guledig. j 

When he was half-burnt, ^ 

I was enchanted by the sage 1 


Of sages, in the primitive world. 

When I had a being ; 

When the host of the world was in dignity, 

The bard was accustomed to benefits. 

To the song of praise I am inclined, which the 
tongue recites. 

I played in the twilight, 
180 I slept in purple ; 

I was truly in the enchantment 

With Dylan, the son of the wave. 

In the circumference, in the middle, 

Between the knees of kings, 

Scattering spears not keen, 

From heaven when came, 

To the great deep, floods, 

In the battle there will be 

Four score hundreds, 
190 That will divide according to their will. 

They are neither older nor younger, 

Than myself in their divisions. 

A wonder, Canhwr are born, every one of nine 

He was with me also. 

With my sword spotted with blood. 

Honour was allotted to me 
y By the Lord, and protection (was) where he was. 

If I come to where the boar was killed, 

He will compose, he will decompose, 
200 He will form languages. 

The strong-handed gleamer, his name. 

With a gleam he rules his numbers. 

They would spread out in a flame. 

When I shall go on high. 

I have been a speckled snake on the hill, 


I have been a viper in the Ilyn. 

I have been a bill-hook crooked that cuts, 

I have been a ferocious spear 

With my chasuble and bowl 
210 I will prophesy not badly, 

Four score smokes 

On every one what will bring. 

Five battalions of arms 

Will be caught by my knife. 

Six steeds of yeUow hue 

A hundred times better is 

My cream-coloured steed. 

Swift as the sea-mew 

Which will not pass 
220 Between the sea and the shore. 

Am I not pre-eminent in the field of blood ? 

Over it are a hundred chieftains. 

Crimson (is) the gem of my belt, 

Gold my shield border. 

There has not been born, in the gap. 

That has been visiting me, 

Except Goronwy, 

From the dales of Edrywy. 

Long white my fingers, 
230 It is long since I have been a herdsman. 

I travelled in the earth. 

Before I was a proficient in learning. 

I travelled, I made a circuit, 

I slept in a hundred islands. 

A hundred Caers I have dwelt ia 

Ye intelligent Druids, 

Declare to Arthur, 

What is there more early 

Than I that they sing of. ' 


240 And one is come 

From considering the deluge, 

And Christ crucified, 

And the day of future doom. 

A golden gem in a golden jeweL 

1 am splendid 

And shall be wanton 

From the oppression of the metal-workers. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 108. Notes, voL ii. p. 307. 

Text, voL ii. p. 301. Notes, vol. ii. p. 451. 

J^i_ PEIMITlVE and ingenious address, when thoroughly 

Which was first, is it darkness, is it light ? 
Or Adam, when he existed, on what day was he created ? 
Or under the earth's surface, what the foimdation ? 
He who is a legionary will receive no instruction. 
Est qui peccator in many things, 

Will lose the heavenly country, the community of priests. 
In the morning no one comes 
If they sing of three spheres. 
10 Angles and Gallwydel, -M 

Let them make their war. 
Whence come night and day ? 
Whence will the eagle become gray ? 
Whence is it that night is dark ? 
Whence is it that the linnet is green ? 
The ebullition of the sea, 



How is it not seen ? 

There are three fountains 

In the mountain of roses, 
20 There is a Caer of defence 

Under the ocean's wave. 

Illusive greeter, 

What is the porter's name ? 

Who was confessor 

To the gracious Son of Mary ? 

What was the most beneficial measure 

Which Adam accomplished ? 

Who will measure Uffem ? 

How thick its veil ? 
30 How wide its mouth ? 

What the size of its stones ? 

Or the tops of its whirling trees ? 

Who bends them so crooked ? 

Or what fumes may be 

About their stems ? 

Is it Lieu and Gwydyon 

That perform their arts ? 

Or do they know books 

When they do ? 
40 Whence come night and flood ? 

How they disappear ? 

Whither flies night from day ; 

And how is it not seen ? 

Pater noster ambulo 

Gentis tonans in adjuvando 

Sibilem signum 

Eogantes fortium. 

Excellent in every way around the glens 

The two skilful ones make inquiries 
50 About Caer Cerindan Cerindydd 


For the draught-horses of pector David. 
They have enjoyment — they move about — 
May they find me greatly expanding. 

The Cymry will be lamenting 

While their souls will be tried 

Before a horde of ravagers. 

The Cymry, cliief wicked ones, 

On account of the loss of holy wafers. 

There will long be crying and wailing, 
60 And gore will be conspicuous. 

There came by sea 

The wood-steeds of the strand. 

The Angles in council 

Shall see signs of 

Exultation over Saxons. 

The praises of the rulers 

Will be celebrated in Sion. 

Let the chief builders be 

Against the fierce Ffichti, 
VO The Morini Brython. 

Their fate has been predicted ; 

And the reaping of heroes 

About the river Severn, 

The stealing is disguised of Ken and Masswy 

Ffis amala, ffur, ffir, sel, 

Thou wilt discern the Trinity beyond my age 

I implore the Creator, hai 

Huai, that the Gentile may vanish 

From the Gospel. Equally worthy 
80 With the retinue of the wall 

Comu ameni dur. 

I have been with skilful men. 

With Matheu and Govannon, 

With Eunydd and Elestron, 


In company with Achwyson, 

For a year in Caer Gofanuon. 

I am old. I am young, I am Gwion, 

I am universal, I am possessed of penetrating wit. 

Thou wilt remember thy old Brython 
90 (And) the Gwyddyl, kihi distillers, 

Intoxicating the drunkards. 

I am a bard ; I will not disclose secrets to slaves ; 

I am a guide : I am expert in contests. 

If he would sow, he would plough ; he would plough, 
he would not reap. 

If a brother among brothers. 

Didactic Bards with swelling breasts will arise 

Who wiU meet around mead-vessels, 

And sing wrong poetry 

And seek rewards that will not be, 
100 Without law, without regulation, without gifts. 

And afterwards will become angry. 

There will be commotions and turbulent times. 

Seek no peace — it will not accrue to thee. 

The Euler of Heaven knows thy prayer. 

From his ardent wrath thy praise has propitiated him 

The Sovereign King of Glory addresses me with 
wisdom : — 

Hast thou seen the dominus fortis ? 

Knowest thou the profound prediction domini ? 

To the advantage of Uffern 
110 Hie nemo in por progenie 

He has liberated its tumultuous multitude. 

Dominus virtutum 

Has gathered together those that were in slavery, 

And before I existed He had perceived me. 

May I be ardently devoted to God ! 

And before I desire the end of existence, 


And before the broken foam shall come upon my lips, 
And before I become connected with wooden boards, 
May there be festivals to ray soul ! 
120 Book-learning scarcely tells me 

Of severe afflictions after death-bed ; 
And such as have heard my bardic books 
They shall obtain the region of heaven, the best of 
all abodes. 


Death-Song of Dylan son of the Wave. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 198. Notes, vol. iL p. 417. 

C^NE God Supreme, divine, the wisest, the greatest his 

When he came to the field, who charmed him in the hand of 

the extremely liberal. 
Or sooner than he, who was on peace on the nature of a turn. 
An opposing groom, poison made, a wrathful deed. 
Piercing Dylan, a mischievous shore, violence freely flowing. 
Wave of Iwerdon, and wave of Manau, and wave of the North, 
And wave of Prydain, hosts comely in fours. 
I will adore the Father God, the regulator of the country, 

without refusing. 
The Creator of Heaven, may he admit us into mercy. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 56. Notes, vol. ii. p. 352. 

I. „ff HOESEMAN resorts to the city, 
With his white dogs, and large horns ; 
I, who have not before seen thee, know thee not. 


IL A horseman resorts to the river's mouth, 
On a stout and warlike steed ; 
Come with me, let me not be refused. 

iiL I wiU not go that way at present ; 
Bear with the conduct of the delayer ; 
And may the blessing of heaven and earth come 
(upon thee). 

IV. Thou, who hast not seen me daily, 
And who resemblest a prudent man, 
How long wilt thou absent thyself, and when wilt 
thou come ? 

V. When I return from Caer Seon, 
From contending with Jews, 
I will come to the city of Lieu and Gwidiou. 

VI. Come with me into the city. 

Thou shalt have wine which I have set apart, 
And pure gold on thy clasp. 

VII. I know not the confident man, 
Who owns a fire and a couch ; 
Fairly and sweetly dost thou speak. 

vni. Come with me to my dwelling, 

Thou shalt have high foaming wine. 
My name is Ugnach, the son of Mydno. 

IX. Ugnach ! a blessing on thy throne ! 

And mayst thou have grace and honour ! 
I am Taliessin who will repay thee thy banquet. 
VOL. I. u 


X. Taliessin, chief of men, 
Victor in the contest of song, 
Remain here until Wednesday. 

XI. Ugnach ! the most affluent in riches, 

Grace be to thee from the highest region ; 
I will not deserve blame ; I will not tarry. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 299. Notes, vol. ii. p. 451. 

J^lOW miserable it is to see 

Tumult, commotion, 

Wounds and confusion, 

The Brithwyr in motion. 

And a cruel fate. 

With the impulse of destiny, 

And for heaven's sake 

Declare the discontinuance of the disaster ! 

It is not well that a son should be born : 
10 His youthful destiny 

Will necessarily be unbelief 

And general privation : — 

The Lloegrians declare it. 

Alas ! for the utter confusion 1 

Until the end of the seventh ! 

From the hard Calends. 

True it is, deliverance will come 

By means of the wished-for man. 

May he throw open the White Mount, 
20 And into Gwynedd make his entry ! 

The forces of the Cymry 


Will be of one course with the lightning : 

The signal of their deliverance 

Will be a true relief to the bosom : 

The guarantee being Eeged, 

Whose share will be glorious. 

Glorious will be our portion. 

To me has been given sway, 

I have become a predicting bard : 
30 Camlan will be heard again 

Scenes of groaning will again be seen, 

And dismal lamentations, 

And mischievous contention, 

And the child will grow 

Strong in battle, even when small. 

People will see battles, 

And the increase of fortresses ; 

Many a banner will be shattered : 

A red banner I know there is, 
40 It will be death to vanquish it 

A signal of their coming, — 

The heroic warriors, 

Who will defend their fame. 

Active their swords before thee, 

Before me their virtues. 

They shall receive their portion before death. 

The day of causing blood-streams, 

The day of assailing walls, 

Will come for certain, 
50 And fleets on the water. 

Neither tax nor tribute 

Nor service will succeed. 

Nor the entreaties of the weak will avail, 

Under the sway of the rulers. 

May hens be relics 


From Mona to Mynneu ! 
Believe in the living God for benefits, 
Who will dispense us free blessings. 
By imploring saints, 
60 And the thorough comprehension of books, 
May we obtain, on Thursday, a portion 
In the blissful region, the splendid place of rest ! 






Text, vol. ii. p. 54. Notes, vol. ii. p. 351. 

I- J^L BULL of conflict was he, active in dispersing 
an arrayed army. 
The ruler of hosts, indisposed to anger, 
Blameless and pure his conduct in protecting life. 

II. Against a hero stout was his advance, 
The ruler of hosts, disposer of wrath. 
There will be protection for thee since thou askest it. 

III. For thou hast given me protection ; 
How warmly wert thou welcomed ! 

The hero of hosts, from what region thou comest ? 

IV. I come from battle and conflict 
With a shield in my hand ; 

Broken is the helmet by the pushing of spears, 

V. I will address thee, exalted man, 
With his shield in distress ; 
Brave man, what is thy descent ? 

VI. Eound-hoofed is my horse, the torment of battle. 
Whilst I am called Gwyn, the son of Nud, 
The lover of Creurdilad, the daughter of Llud. 


VII. Since it is thou, Gwyn, an upright man, 
From thee there is no concealing ; 
I also am Gwydneu Garanhii-. 

VIII. He will not leave me in a parley with thee. 
By the bridle, as is becoming ; 
But will hasten away to his home on the Tawy. 

IX. It is not the nearest Tawy I speak of to thee, 
But the furthest Tawy ; 
Eagle ! I will cause the furious sea to ebb. 

X, Polished is my ring, golden my saddle and bright : 
To my sadness 
I saw a conflict before Caer Vandwy. 

XI. Before Caer Vandwy a host I saw. 

Shields were shattered and ribs broken ; 

Benowned and splendid was he who made the assault. 

XII. Gwyn ab Nud, the hope of armies, 

Sooner would legions fall before the hoofs 

Of thy horses, than broken rushes to the ground. 

XIII. Handsome my dog and round-bodied, 
And truly the best of dogs ; 

Dorraach was he, which belonged to Maelgwn. 

XIV. Dormach with the ruddy nose ! what a gazer 
Thou art upon me ! because I notice 

Thy wanderings on Gwibir Vynyd. 

XV. I have been in the place where was killed Gwendolen, 
The son of Ceidaw, the pillar of songs, 

When the ravens screamed over blood. 


XVI. I have been in the place where Bran was killed, 
The son of Gweiyd, of far-extending fame, 
When the ravens of the battle-field screamed. 

XVII. I have been where Llachau was slain. 
The son of Arthur, extolled in songs, 
When the ravens screamed over blood. 

XVIII. I have been where Meurig was killed, 
The son of Carreian, of honourable fame. 
When the ravens screamed over flesh. 

XIX I have not been where Gwallawg was killed. 
The son of Goholeth, the accomplished, 
The resister of Lloegir, the son of Ileynawg. 

XX. I have been where the soldiers of Prydain were slain, 
From the East to the North ; 
I am alive, they in their graves ! 

XXI. I have been where the soldiers of Prydain were slain. 
From the East to the South 
I am alive, they in death ! 





The Chair of Ceridwen. 
book of taliessin xvi. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 158. Notes, vol. ii. p. 405. 

J^OVEEEIGN of the power of the air, thou also 

The satisfaction of my transgressions. 

At midnight and at matins 

There shone my lights. 

Courteous the life of Minawg ap Lieu, 

Whom I saw here a short while ago. 

The end, in the slope of lieu. 

Ardent was his push in combats ; 

Avagddu my son also. 
10 Happy the Lord made him. 

In the competition of songs. 

His wisdom was better than mine, 

The most skilful man ever heard of. 

Gwydyon ap Don, of toUing spirits, 

Enchanted a woman from blossoms, 

And brought pigs from the south. 

Since he had no sheltering cots, 

Eapid curves, and plaited chains. 

He made the forms of horses 
20 From the springing 

Plants, and illustrious saddles. 

"When are judged the chairs. 


Excelling them (will be) mine, 

My chair, my cauldron, and my laws, 

And my pervading eloquence, meet for the chair. 

I am called skilful in the court of Don. 

I, and Euronwy, and Euron. 

I saw a fierce conflict in Nant Frangcon 

On a Sunday, at the time of dawn, 
30 Between the bird of wrath and GwT^dyon. 

Thursday, certainly, they went to Mona 

To obtain whirlings and sorcerers. 

Arianrod, of laudable aspect, dawn of serenity, 

The greatest disgrace evidently on the side of the Brython, 

Hastily sends about his court the stream of a rainbow, 

A stream that scares away violence from the earth. 

The poison of its former state, about the world, it will leave. 

They speak not falsely, the books of Beda 

The chair of the Preserver is here. 
40 And till doom, shall continue in Europa. 

May the Trinity grant us 

Mercy in the day of judgment. 

A fair alms from good men. 


The Death-Song of Uthyr Pendeagon. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 203. Notes, vol. ii. p. 419. 

..^LM I not with hosts making a din ? 
I would not cease, between two hosts, without gore. 
Am I not he that is called Gorlassar ? 
j^ My belt was a rainbow to my foe. 
Am I not a prince, in darkness, 


(To him) that takes my appearance with my two chief 
baskets ? 

Am I not, like Cawyl, ploughing ? 

I would not cease without gore between two hosts. 

Is it not I that will defend my sanctuary ? 
10 In separating with the friends of wrath. 

Have I not been accustomed to blood about the wrathful, 

A sword-stroke daring against the sons of Cawrnur? 

Have I not shared my cause. 

A ninth portion in the prowess of Arthur ? 

Is it not I that have destroyed a hundred Caers ? 

Is it not I that slew a hundred governors ? 

Is it not I that have given a hundred veils ? 

Is it not I that cut off a hundred heads ? 

Is it not I that gave to Henpen 
20 The tremendous sword of the enchanter ? 

Is it not I that performed the rights of purification, 

When Hayarndor went to the top of the mountain ? 

I was bereaved to my sorrow. My confidence was com- 

There was not a world were it not for my progeny. 

I am a bard to be praised. The unskilful 

May he be possessed by the ravens and eagle and bird of 

Avagddu came to him with his equal, 

When the bands of four men feed between two plains. 

Abiding in heaven was he, my desire, 
30 Against the eagle, against the fear of the unskilful. 

I am a bard, and I am a harper, 

I am a piper, and I am a crowder. 

Of seven score musicians the very great 

Enchanter. There was of the enamelled honour the 

Hu of the expanded wings. 


Thy son, thy barded proclamation, 
Thy steward, of a gifted father. 
My tongue to recite my death-song. 
If of stone-work the opposing wall of the world. 
40 May the countenance of Prydain be bright for my guidance, 
Sovereign of heaven, let my messages not be rejected. 


Text, vol, ii. p. 199. Notes, vol. ii. p. 418. 

^©ISTURBED is the isle of the praise of Hu, the isle 

of the severe recompenser 
Mona of the good bowls, of active manliness. The Menei 

its door. 
I have drunk liquor of wine and bragget, from a brother 

The universal sovereign, the end of every king, the ruinator. 
Sorrowful (is) the Dean, since the Archdeacon is interred. 
There has not been, there will not be in tribulation his equal. 
When Aeddon came from the country of Gwydyon, the 

thickly covered Seon. 
A pure poison came four nightly fine-night seasons. 
The contemporaries fell, the woods were no shelter against 

the wind on the coast. 
10 Math and Eunyd, skilful with the magic wand, freed the 

In the life of Gwydyon and Amaethon, there was counsel. 
Pierced (is) the front of the shield of the strong, fortunate, 

strong irresistibly. 
The powerful combination of his front rank, it was not of 

great account. 
Strong (in) feasting ; in every assembly his wUl was done. 


Beloved he went first ; while I am alive, he shall be 

May I be with Christ, so that I may not be sorrowful, 

when an apostle, 
The generous Archdeacon amongst angels may he be 

Disturbed (is) the isle of the praise of Hu, the isle of the 

severe ruler. 
Before the victorious youth, the fortress of the Cymry 

remained tranquil. 
20 The dragon chief, a rightful proprietor in Britonia. 

A sovereign is gone, alas ! the chief that is gone to the earth. 
Four damsels, after their lamentation, performed their office. 
Very grievous truly on sea, without land, long their dwelling. 
On account of his integrity (it was) that they were not 

satiated with distress. 
I am blameable if I mention not his good actions. 
In the place of Lly wy, who shall prohibit, who shall order ? 
In the place of Aeddon, who shall support Mona's gentle 

authorities ? 
May I be with Christ, that I may not be sorrowful, for 

evil or good. 
Share of mercy in the country of the governor of perfect 


The Praise of Taliessin. 

BOOK OF taliessin XII. 
Text, vol. ii. p. 150. Notes, vol. ii. p. 403. 

^I^ESSENGEKS to me are come, so numerously are they 

We shall bring a mutual conflict, so great is my bosom. 
Like the effect of the oar in the brine is the liquor of Beli, 


Like a light shield on the back of a shadow. 

Like wrath and indignation from the protection 

Of a Caer, and nine hundred governors became dead. 

There will be a battle on Menei, a vehement retribution. 

There will be more on Conwy, the scar of angry strife 
shall cause it. 

Cold death the destiny of the ready muse, 
10 From the vehement blade by the stroke of Edym. 

Three elegant unrestrainable, fell, heavily laden with forces. 

There fleets in the stream, an omen of the day of gloom. 

Three evenings of battle for three proper 

Countries : a boat was made a burying place. 

Three of every three : three sins 

And Eryri a hill of judgment. 

A host of Saxons : the second they were, a third affliction. 

In Cymry widowhood awaits women. 

Before the presence of Cynan fire broke out. 
20 Cadwaladyr will bewail him. 

He injured the country with pain, 

Straw ; and roof of houses ; the house he burnt. 

There will be a wonder. 

A man with the daughter of his brother. 

They will cite what is steel 

Of the lineage of Anarawd. 

From him proceeded 

Coch, wise his prudence. 

He will not spare nor defend 
30 Either cousin or brother. 

At the voice of the warrior's horn, 

Nine hundred (were) anxious, 

Of universal affliction. 

Thou wilt be calling forth verdancy from affected praise, 

It will run to such as is oppressed in bosom. 




Text, vol. ii. p. 59. Notes, voL ii. p. 352. 

I. J^EITHENHIN, stand thou forth, 
And behold the billowy rows ; 
The sea has covered the plain of Gwydneu. 

II. Accursed be the damsel, 
Who, after the wailing, 
Let loose the Fountain of Venus, the raging deep. 

III. Accursed be the maiden. 
Who, after the conflict, let loose 

The fountain of Venus, the desolating sea. 

IV. A great cry from the roaring sea arises above the 

summit of the rampart. 
To-day even to God does the supplication come ! 
Common after excess there ensues restraint. 

V. A cry from the roaring sea overpowers me this night, 
And it is not easy to relieve me ; 
Common after excess succeeds adversity. 

VI. A cry from the roaring sea comes upon the winds ; 
The mighty and beneficent God has caused it ! 
Common after excess is want. I 

VII. A cry from the roaring sea 

Impels me from my resting-place this night ; ■ 

Common after excess is far-extending destruction. 

vm. The grave of Seithenhin the weak-minded 
Between Caer Cenedir and the shore 
Of the great sea and Cinran, 





Text, vol. ii. p. 17. Notes, vol. ii. p. 334. 

lg>INAS MAON, may God the blessed Sovereign 

defend it ! 
What the sun will dry, Edar will moisten. 

IL Dinas Maon, the dislike of Sovereigns, where kings 
were hewed down in the obstinate conflict. 
What the sun will dry, Mervin will moisten. 

m. Dinas Maon, the security of the country, may the 
protection of God surround it ! 
What the sun will dry, Nynaw wUl moisten. 

IV. Mad put his thigh on Merchin the gray steed, 
The fort of the brave will defend me. 
What the sun will dry, Maelgwn will moisten. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 168. Notes, vol. iL p. 408. 

Text, voL ii p. 16. Notes, vol. il p. 333. / 

I. 3fc WILL pray God to deliver the people of the fair 
The owner of heaven and earth, all-wise peiTader. 


A pleasant Caer there is on the surface of the ocean. 

May be joyful in the splendid festival its king. 

And the time when the sea makes great audacity. 

The crowns of bards are usual over mead-vessels. 

A wave will come, in haste, speed unto it, 

That will bring them to the green sward from the region 

of the Ffichti. 
And may I obtain, God, for my prayer, 
When I keep the covenant of conciliation with thee. 

II. A pleasant Caer there is on a broad lake, 

A fortress impregnable, the sea surrounds it. 

Prydain greets thee : how will these agree ? 

The point of the lake of the son of Erbin ; be thine the 

There has been a retinue, and there has been song, in the 

second place. 
And an eagle, high in the sky, and the path of Granwyn, 
Before the governing sovereign, that refuses not to start. 
The dispersed of renown, and a leader, they form 


III. A pleasant Caer there is on the ninth wave. 
Pleasant its denizens in guarding each other. 
They will not take them if it be through disgrace. 
It is not their custom to be hard. 

I will not speak falsely, upon my privilege, 

Than the tenants of the two strands better the serfs of 

An associate, if he gives a banquet of deliverers. 
Will contain between every two the best multitude. 

IV. A pleasant Caer there is, it will be made complete 
By meads, and praise, and mountain-birds. 



Smooth its songs, on its festival, 

And my intelligent Lord, a splendid distributor, 

Before he went into his grave, in the boundary of 

the Llan, 
He gave me mead and wine from a crystal cup. 

V. A pleasant Caer there is on the shore of the gulf, 
Pleasantly is given to every one his share. 
I know in Dinbych, white with sea-mews, 
A mild associate, the lord of Erlysan. 
He was my law, on New Year's eve, 
His song (was) solace, the king of splendid war. 
And a veil of green colour, and possessing a feast. 
This may I be, a tongue over the bards of Prydain. 

VI. A pleasant Caer there is, that is supported with gifts, 
Mine were its fords, should I have chosen. 
I will not speak of the progress of the law that I 

had kept. 
He deserves not a New Year's gift that knows not this. 
The writing of Prydain, anxious care. 
While the waves continue to be agitated about it. 
If necessary, far into a cell I would penetrate. 

VII. A pleasant Caer there is, rising up, 

May we have shares in its meads and praises. 
Pleasant on its boundary the sending forth of its 

A cormorant approaches me, long its wings, 
There comes to the top of the scream of the sea-birds. 
Wrath within fate, let it penetrate the sands and stones, 
And the gray wolf the best of conflicts. 
May there be derived from above the banquet 
accordant reasonings. 

VOL. I. X 


The blessing of the beneficent Ruler of Heaven's 

harmonious heights (be) 
Upon them ; may He make denizens (there) the 

worthies of Owain. 

VIII. A pleasant Caer there is on the margin of the flood. 
Pleasantly is given to every (one) his desire. 
Address thou Gwyned, be thine the increase. 
The dartings of the terrible spears were poured forth. 
Wednesday, I saw men in distress, 
Thursday, to their disgrace they returned. 
And there were crimsoned hair, and clamorous woe. 
Exhausted were the men of Gwyned the day that they 

And on Cevn Llech Vaelwy shields they will break. 
They fell at the Cevn, a host of kinsmen. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 10. Notes, vol. ii. p. 329. 

I. J^UhE three depredatory horses of the Isle of 

Prydain : — 
Carnawlawg, the horse of Owain the son of Urien ; 
Bucheslwm Seri, the horse of Gwgawn Gleddyvrudd ; 
And Tavawd hir Breich-hir, the horse of Cadwallawn 

the son of Cadvan. 

II. The three draught-horses of the Isle of Prydain : — 
Arvul Melyn, the horse of Pasgen the son of Urien ; 
Du Hir Terwenydd, the horse of Selyv the son of 

Cynan Garwyn ; 
And prudlwyd, the horse of Rhydderch Hael. 


III. The three spirited horses of the Isle of PrydaiQ : — 
Gwineu Goddwf Hir, the horse of Cai ; 

Ehuthr Eon Tilth Blaidd, the horse of Gilbert the 

son of Cadgyffro ; 
And Ceincaled, the horse of Gwalchmai 

IV. The three high-mettled horses of the Isle of Prydain : — 
Lluagor, the horse of Caradawg ; 

And Melynlas, the horse of CaswaUawn the son of 
Beli. . . 


Text, vol. ii. p. 175. Notes, vol. il p. 409. 

^T broke out with matchless fury. 
The rapid vehement fire. 
Him we praise above the earth, 
Fire, the fiery meteor of the dawn. 
Above the high gale, 
Higher than every cloud. 
Great his animal 
He will not delay 
Nor the wedding-feast of Llyr. 
10. His path is like a water-course, 
Thy rage in the chief streams. 
The dawn smiles, repeUing gloom, 
At the dawn with violence. 
At every meet season. 
At the meet season of his turnings, 
At the four stages of his course, 
I will extol him that judges violence, 
Of the strong din, deep his wrath. 


I am not a man, cowardly, gray, 
20. A scum near the wattle. 

The illusion of my two relatives, 

Two groans of affliction without appetite. 

From my hand to thy hand God will give naught. 

Thrice three protections, 

Eetuming to the old places, 

With a steed used to the field. 

And the steed of Genethawg, 

And the steed of Caradawg, 

Perfect for travelling. 
30. And the steed of Gwythur, 

And the steed of Gwarddur, 

And the steed of Arthur. 

Dauntless to cause an ache. 

And the steed of Taliessin, 

And the steed of Lieu half domesticated. 

And of Pebyr, the dark gray of the grove. 

And Grei, the steed of Cunin. 

Cornan stubborn in the conflict, 

Of ardent desires, 
40. The Black, from the seas famous. 

The steed of Brwyn, betrayer of the country. 

And the three cloven-footed ones 

They will not go a journey conveniently, 

The terrible steed of Ceidaw, 

A hoof with bribery on it. 

Mottle-shouldered Ysgodig 

The steed of Llemenig 

The horse of Ehydderch Ehyddig 

Of the gray colour of a pear. 
50. And Llamre, fuU of inherent vigour, 

And Froenvoll of a vigorous growth. 

The steed of Sadyi-nin, 


And the steed of Constantine. 

Aiid others handling, 

For the country, the smart of foreigners. 

The good Henwyn brought 

A tale from Hiraddug. 

I have been a sow, I have been a buck, 

I have been a sage, I have been a snout, 
60. I have been a horn, I have been a wild sow, 

I have been a shout in battle. 

I have been a torrent on the slope, 

I have been a wave on the extended shore. 

I have been the light sprinkling of a deluge, 

I have been a cat with a speckled head on three trees. 

I have been a circumference, I have been a head. 

A goat on an elder-tree. 

I have been a crane well filled, a sight to behold. 

Very ardent the animals of Morial, 
70. They kept a good stock. 

Of what is below the air, say the hateful men, 

Too many do not live, of those that know me. 


The Verses of the Graves, 
black book of caermarthen xix. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 28. Notes, vol. ii. p. 341. 

I. ^^J^HE graves which the rain bedews ? 
Men that were not accustomed to afflict me : — 
Cerwyd, and Cywryd, and Caw. 

II. The graves which the thicket covers ? 

They would not succumb without avenging themselves : 
Gwryen, Morien, and Morial. 


III, The graves which the shower bedews ? 
Men that would not succumb stealthily : — 
Gwen, and Gwrien, and Gwriad. 

IV. The grave of Tydain, father of the Muse, in the 

region of Bron Aren : 
Where the wave makes a sullen sound 
The grave of Dylan in Llan Beuno. 

V. The grave of Ceri Gledyvhir, in the region of Hen 
In a rugged steep place ; 
Tarw Torment in the enclosure of Corbre. 

VI. The grave of Seithenhin the weak-minded 
Between Caer Cenedir and the shore 
Of the great sea and Cinran. 

VII. In Aber Gwenoli is the grave of Piyderi, 
"Where the waves beat against the land ; 
In Carrawg is the grave of Gwallawg Hir. 

VIII. The grave of Gwalchmai is in Peryddon, 
Where the ninth wave flows : 
The grave of Cynon is in Han Badam. 

IX The grave of Gwrwawd the honourable is 
In a lofty region : in a lowly place of repose, 
The grave of Cynon the son of Clydno Eiddyn. 

X. The grave of Eun the son of Pyd is by the river 
In a cold place in the earth. 
The grave of Cynon is in Ryd Reon. 


XI. Whose is the gi-ave beneath the hill ? 

The grave of a man mighty in the conflict — 
The grave of Cynon the son of Clydno Eiddyn. 

XIL The grave of the son of Osvran is in Camlan, 
After many a slaughter 
The grave of Bedwyr is in Gallt Tryvan. 

XIII. The grave of Owain ab Urien in a secluded part of 

the world, 
Under the sod of Llan Morvael ; 
In Abererch, that of Ehydderch Hael. 

XIV. After wearing dark-brown clothes, and red, and 

And riding magnificent steeds with sharp spears, 
In llan Heledd is the grave of Owain. 

XV. After wounds and bloody plains, 

And wearing harness and riding white horses, 
This, even this, is the grave of Cynddylan. 

XVI. Who owns the grave of good connections ? 

He who would attack Lloegir of the compact host — 
The grave of Gwen, the son of Llywarch Hen, is this. 

XVII, Whose is the grave in the circular space. 

Which is covered by the sea and the border of the valley ? 
The grave of Meigen, the son of Eun, the ruler of a 

XVIII. Whose is the grave in the island, 

Which is covered by the sea with a border of tumult ? 
The grave of Meigen, the son of Eim, the ruler of a court 


XIX. Narrow is the grave and long. 

With respect to many long every way : — 

The grave of Meigen, the son of Eun, the ruler of right. 

XX. The grave of the three serene persons on an elevated hill, 
In the valley of Gwynn Gwynionawg — 
Mor, and Meilyr, and Madawg. 

XXI. The grave of Madawg, the splendid bulwark 

In the meeting of contention, the grandson of Urien, 
The best son to Gwyn of Gwynlliwg. 

XXII. The grave of Mor, the magnificent, immovable sovereign, 
The foremost piUar in the conflict, 
The son of Peredur Penwedig. 

XXIII. The grave of Meilyr Malwynawg of a sullenly-disposed 

The hastener of a fortunate career, 
Son to Brwyn of Brycheinawg. 

XXIV. Whose is the grave in Ryd Vaen Ced 
With its head in a downward direction ? 
The grave of Run, the son of Alun Dywed. 

XXV. The grave of Alun Dywed in his own region, 
Away he would not retreat from a difi&culty — 
The son of Meigen, it was well when he was born. 

XXVI. The grave of Ilia the Gwyddel is in the retreat of 
Under the grass and withered leaves ; 
The grave of Epynt is in the vale of Gewel. 



XXVII. The Grave of Dy wel, the son of Erbin, is in the plain 

of Caeaw ; 
He would not be a vassal to a king ; 
Blameless, he would not shrink from battle. 

XXVIII. The Grave of Gwrgi, a hero and a Gwyndodian lion ; 
And the grave of Llawr, the regulator of hosts. 

In the upper part of Gwanas the men are ! 

XXIX. The long graves in Gwanas — 
Their. history is not had, 
Whose they are and what their deeds. 

XXX. There has been the family of Oeth and Anoeth — 
Naked are their men and their youth — 
Let him who seeks for them dig in Gwanas. 

XXXI. The grave of Llwch Llawengin is on the river 
The head of the Saxons of the district of Erbin ; 
He would not be three months without a battle. 

xxxn. The graves in the Long Mountain — 
Multitudes weU know it — 

Are the graves of Gwryen, Gwryd Engwawd, and 
Uwyddawg the son of Lliwelydd. 

XXXIII. Who owns the grave in the mountain ? 
One who marshalled armies — 
It is the grave of Ffyrnvael Hael, the son of Hyvlydd. 

xxxiv. Whose grave is this ? The grave of Eiddiwlch the 
In the upland of Pennant Twrch, 
The son of Arthan, accustomed to slaughter. 


XXXV. The grave of Llew Llawgyffes under the protection 
of the sea, 
With which he was familiar ; 
He was a man that never gave the truth to any one. 

XXXVI. The grave of Beidawg the Euddy in the vicinity of 
Kiw Lly vnaw ; 
The grave of Lluosgar in Ceri ; 
And at Eyd Bridw the grave of Omni. 

xxxvii. Far his turmoil and his seclusion ; 
The sod of Machawe conceals him ; 
Long the lamentations for the prowess of Beidawg 
the Euddy. 

xxxviiL Far his turmoil and his fame — 

The sod of Machawe is upon him — 

This is Beidawg the Euddy, the son of Emjrr Llydaw. 

xxxix. The grave of a monarch of Prydain is in Ileudir 
Where the flood enters the Llychwr ; 
In CeUi Briafael, the grave of Gyrthmwl. 

XL. The grave in Ystyvachau, 
Which everybody doubts. 
The grave of Gwitheym Gwrthenau. 

XLL Cian wails in the waste of Cnud, 

Yonder above the grave of the stranger — 
The grave of Cynddilig, the son of Corcnud. 

XLIL Truly did Elffin bring me 

To try my primitive bardic lore 


Over a cliieftain — 

The grave of Ewvawn with the imperious aspect 

XLiiL Truly did Elffin bring me 
To try my bardic lore 
Over an early chieftain — 
The grave of Ewvawn, too early gone to the grave. 

XLiv. The grave of March, the grave of Gwythur, 
Tlie grave of Gwgawn Gleddyvrudd ; 
A mystery to the world, the grave of Arthur. 

XLV. The grave of Elchwith is by the rain bedewed, 
With the plain of Meweddawg under it ; 
Cynon ought to bewail him there. 

XLVI. Who owns this grave ? this grave ? and this ? 
Ask me, I know it ; 

The grave of Ew, the grave of Eddew was this. 
And the grave of Eidal with the lofty mien. 

XLVII. Eiddew and Eidal, the unflinching exiles, 
The whelps of Cylchwydrai : 
The sons of Meigen bred war-horses. 

XLVin. Whose is this grave ? It is the grave of Brwyno 
the Tall, 
Bold were his men in his region. 
Where he would be, there would be no flight. 

XLix. Who owns this grave — not another ? 

Gwythwch, the vehement in the conflict, 

While he would kill thee, he would at thee laugh. 


L. The grave of Silid the intrepid is in the locality of 
Edry wfy ; 
The grave of Llemenig in Llan Elwy, 
In the swampy upland is the grave of Eilinwy. 

LI. The grave of a stately warrior ; many a carcase 
Was usual from his hand, 
Before he became silent beneath the stones ; 
Llachar, the son of Eun, is in the valley of the Cain. 

LIL The grave of Talan Talyrth 

Is at the contention of three battles, 

A hewer down of the head of every force, 

Liberal was he, and open his gates. 

Liii. The grave of Elisner, the son of Ner, 

Is in the depth of the earth without fear, without 

concern ; 
A commander of hosts was he, so long as his time 


Liv. The grave of a hero vehement in his rage 

Llachar the ruler of hosts, at the confluence of noisy 

"Where the Tawne forms a wave. 

Lv. Whose are graves in the fords ? 

What is the grave of a chieftain, the son of Eygenau, 
A man whose arms had abundant success. 

LVI. Whose is this gi-ave ? The grave of Braint 
Between Llewin and Llednaint — 
The grave of a man, the woe of his foes. 

LVii. Whose is the grave on the slope of the hill ? 
Many who know it do not ask ; 
The grave of Coel, the son of Cynvelyn. 


LViii. The grave of Dehewaint is on the river Clewaint, 
In the uplands of Mathavarn, 
The support of mighty warriors. 

LTX. The grave of Aron, the son of Dewinvin, is in the 
land of Gwenle ; 
He would not shout after thieves, 
Nor disclose the truth to enemies. 

Lx. The grave of Tavlogau, the son of Ludd, 

Is far away in Trewrudd ; and thus to us there is 

affliction ; 
He who buried him obtained an advantage. 

LXI. Who owns the grave on the banks of Eyddnant ? 
Kun his name, his bounties were infinite ; 
A chief he was ! Riogan pierced him. 

LXII. He was like Cyvnyssen to demand satisfaction for 
Euddy was his lance, serene his aspect : 
Who derived the benefit ? The grave of Bradwen. 

LXiii. WTiose is the quadrangular grave 

With its four stones around the front ? 
The grave of Madawg the intrepid warrior. 

LXIV. In the soil of the region of Eivionydd, 
There is a tall man of fine growth, 
WTio would kill all when he was greatly enraged. 

Lxv. The three graves on the ridge of Celvi, 
The Awen has declared them to me : — 
The grave of Cynon of the rugged brows, 
The grave of Cynvael, and the grave of Cynveli. 


Lxvi. The grave of Llwid Llednais in the land of Cemmaes, 
Before his ribs had grown long, 
The biiU of conflict brought oppression thither. 

LXVii. The grave of the stately Siawn in Hirerw, 

A mountain between the plain and the oaken forest, 
Laughing, treacherous, and of bitter disposition was he. 

Lxviii. Who owns the grave in the sheltered place ? 
While he was, he was no weakling : — 
It is the grave of Ebediw, the son of Maelur. 

LXix. Whose is the grave in yonder woody cliff ? 
His hand was an enemy to many ; — 
The bull of battle — mercy to him ! 

Lxx. The graves of the sea-marsh. 
Slightly are they ornamented ! 
There is Sanawg, a stately maid ; 
There is Eun, ardent in war ; 
There is Earwen, the daughter of Hennin ; 
There are Lledin and Ilywy. 

Lxxi. The grave of Hennin Henben is in the heart of 
Dinorben ; 
The grave of Aergwl in Dyved, 
At the ford of Cynan Gyhored. 

Lxxii. Every one that is not dilatory inquires — 
Whose is the mausoleum that is here ? 
It is the grave of Einyawn, the son of Cunedda ; 
It is a disgrace that in Prydain he should have been 

LXXIIL Who owns the grave in the great plain ? 
Proud his hand upon his lance : — 
The grave of Beli, the son of BenUi Gawr. 






Names of the Sons of Llywauch Hen. 
black book of caermaethen xxxix. 

Text, voL ii. p. 60. Notes, vol. ii. p. 355. 

I. J^WEETLY sings the bird on the fragrant tree 
Over the head of Gwen ; before his covering over with 

He used to fracture the armour of (Lly warch) Hen. 

II. The three best men in their country, 
To defend their homesteads, — 
Eithir, and Erthir, and Argad. 

III. The three sons of Llywarch, three intractable ones in 

Three fierce contenders, — 
Llew, and Araw, and Urien. 


IV. Better may it fare for my concerns, 

That he be left on the banks of the river, 
With a host of warlike men. 

V. The bull of conflict, conductor of the war, 

The support of battle, and the lamp of benevolence, 
Father of heaven, increase Thou his energy ! 

VI. The best three men under heaven 
To defend their homes, — 
Pyll, and Selyv, and Sandev. 

VII. The morning with the dawn of day, 

When Mwg Mawr Drefydd was assaulted, 
The steeds of Mechydd were not trained up. 

VIII. They met around Cavall ; 

A corpse is there in blood through injustice, 
From the rencounter of Ehun and the other hero. 

IX. A shout will be uttered on the top of Mount Llug 
Over the grave of Cynllug ; 
The reproach is mine ; it was I that caused it. 

X. Let the snow descend and cover the vale, 
Warriors will hasten to battle ; 
I do not go ; infirmity leaves me not. 

XI. Thou art not a scholar, thou art not a recluse ; 

Thou wilt not be called a monarch in the day of necessity ; 
Alas ! Cjoiddilig, that thou wert not a woman. 

xn. Far away is Aber Lly w. 

Further are the two Cyvedlyws ; 

Talan, this day thou hast paid me with tears. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 47. Notes, vol. ii. p. 349. 

I. ^!KjEEN is the gale, bare the hill. 
It is difficult to find a shelter ; 

The ford is turbid, frozen is the lake, 
A man stands firm with one stalk. 

II. Wave after wave rolls towards the shore ; 

Loud the shoutings in front of the heights of the hill, 
If one but just stands out. 

III. Cold is the place of the lake before the winter storm : 
Dry the stalks of broken reeds ; 

Lucky is he who sees the wood in the chest. 

IV. Cold is the bed of fish in the shelter of a sheet of ice ; 
Lean the stag ; the topmost reeds move quickly ; 
Short the evening ; bent the trees. 

V. Let the white snow fall in deposits ; 
Warriors wiU not leave their duty ; 
Cold are the lakes without the appearance of warmth. 

VI. Let the white snow fall on the hoar frost ; 
Idle is the shield on the shoulder of the aged ; 
The wind is very high ; it has certainly frozen. 

VII. Let the snow fall on the surface of the ice ; 

Gently sweeps the wind the tops of thick trees ; 
Firm is the shield on the shoulder of the brave. 
VOL. I. Y 


VIII. Let the snow descend and cover the vale ; 
Warriors will hasten to battle ; 
I shall not go ; — infirmity will not let me ! 

IX. Let the snow fall from the side of the slope ; 
Prisoner is the steed, lean the cattle ; 
Cold is no pleasure to-day. 

X. Let the snow fall ; white is the mountain-region ; 
Bare the timber of the ship on sea ; 
A host of men will cherish many counsels. 

XI. Golden hands are around the horns, the horns in 
agitation ; 
Cold the stream, bright the sky, 
Short the evening, bending are the tops of trees. 

xn. The bees (live) on their store ; small the clamour of birds, 
The day is dewless ; 
The hill-top is a conspicuous object ; red the dawn. 

XIII. The bees are under cover ; cold also is the ford, 
Let the frost freeze as long as it lasts : 

To him that is soft may dissolution happen ! 

XIV. The bees are in confinement this very day ; 
How withered the stalks, hard the slope ; 
Cold and dewless is the earth to-day. 

XV. The bees are in shelter from the wet of winter ; 
Blue the mist, hollow the cow-parsnip ; 
Cowardliness is a bad quality in a man. 



XVI. Long the night, bare the moor, hoary the cliff ; 
Gray the fair gull on the precipice ; 
Eough the seas ; there will be rain to-day. 

XVII. Dry the wind, wet the road, 

The vale assumes its former appearance. 

XVIII. Cold the thistle-stalks ; lean the stag ; 

Smooth the river ; there will be fine weather. 

XIX. Foul the weather on the mountain ; the rivers troubled ; 
Flood will wet the ground in towns ; 
The earth looks like the ocean ! 

XX. Thou art not a scholar, thou art not a recluse ; 

Thou wilt not be called a monarch in the day of necessity. 
Alas ! Cynddilig, that thou wert not a woman ! 

XXI. Let the crooked hart bound at the top of the sheltered 
May the ice be broken ; bare are the lowlands ; 
The brave escapes from many a hardship. 

XXII. The thrush has a spotted breast. 
Spotted the breast of the thrush ; 
The edge of the bank is broken 

By the hoof of the lean, crooked, and stooping hart, 

XXIII. Very high is the loud-sounding wind ; 
It is scarcely right for one to stand out. 

XXIV. At All-Saints it is habitual for the heath-tops to be dun ; 
High-foaming is the sea-wave, 

Short the day : — Druid, your advice ! 


XXV. If the shield, and the vigour of the steed, 

And of brave, fearless men, have gone to sleep. 
The night is fair to chase the foe. 

XXVI. The wind is supreme ; sere and bare the trees, 
Withered the reeds ; the hart is bounding ; 
Pelis the False, what land is this ? 

XXVII. If it poured down snow as far as Arvwl Melyn, 
Gloom would not make me sad ; 
I would lead a host to the hill of Tydwl. 

XXVIII. For thou knowest, with equal ease, the causeway, 
The ford, and the ascent, if snow were to fall, 
When thou, Pelis, art our guide. 

XXIX, Anxiety in Prydain wiU not cause me to-night 

To march upon a region where there is the greatest 

From following after Owain. 

XXX Since thou bearest arms and shield upon thee. 
Defender of the destructive battle, 
Pelis, in what land wast thou fostered ? 

XXXI. The man whom God releases from a very close prison, 
Euddy win be his spear from the territory of Owain, 
Lavish of his entertainments. 

xxxn. Since the chieftain is gone to earth, 
Pursue not his family ; 
After mead seek no disgrace. 


XXXIII. The morning with the dawn of day, 
When Mwg Mawr Drefydd was assaulted, 
The steeds of Mechydd were not trained up. 

XXXIV. Joy will be to me of no benefit, 
Owing to the news which apprises me 
That a wooden cover is upon Mechydd ! 

XXXV. They met around Cavall ; 

A corpse is there in blood through injustice, 
From the rencounter of Rhun and the other hero. 

XXXVI. For the staffiers of Mwg have slain Mecliydd ; 
Dnidwas did not perceive the day ; 
Creator of heaven ! thou hast caused me severe 
affliction ! 

XXXVII. Men are in the shout (of war) ; the ford is frozen 
Cold the wave, variegated the bosom of the sea ; 
The eternal God give us counsel ! 

XXXVIII. Mechydd, the son of Llywarch, the undaunted chief. 
Fine and fair was his robe of the colour of the swan, 
The first that fastened a horse by the bridle. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 55. Notes, vol. ii. jj. 352. 

I^EIhOUGH I love the strand, I hate the sea. 
How the wave covered the stone of Camwr ! 


The brave, the magnanimous, the amiable, the generous, 

and the energetic, 
Are as stepping-stones to the bards of the world, and an 

advantageous shelter. 
The fame of Heilyn proved a benefit to the solicitous. 
To the day of judgment may his celebrity remain ! 
Though I love the strand, I hate the wave. 
The wave has done violence, dismal the blow to the 

He will complain as long as he believes on its account. 
10 It is a cheerful work to bathe on my bosom. 

Though it (the water) fills the cavity, it does not disturb 

the heart. 
And in the direction of Cyhaig did the wave arise. 
Sorry we are for his concerns, 
When Pebrwr from afar hastened to his death. 
The brave and courageous multitude will affect us both ; 
As the water bearing the leaves shows it thee. 
Mechydd is sad on account of thy coming. 
I will not receive thee to my receptacle. 
From my part I sold a horse for thee. 
20 Cyhaig will revenge for the delay of bis enjoyment, 
And for the sweet strains. 
dwarf ! for thy anger to me there have been enemies. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 259. Notes, vol. ii. p. 435. 

I. ^ WAS formerly fair of limb, I was eloquent in speech ; 
What is not wonderful will be extolled — 
The men of Argoed have ever supported me. 


II. I was formerly fair of limb, I was bold, 
I was admitted into the congress-house 
Of Powys, the paradise of the Cymry. 

III. I was formerly fair of limb, I was comely ; 
Throbbing was concomitant with my spear : 

My back (now) curved was first in vigour — I am heavy, 
I am wretched. 

IV. Wooden crook ! is it not the time of harvest, 
When the fern is brown, and the reeds are yellow ? 
Have I not once disliked what I now love ! 

V. Wooden crook ! is not this winter, 
When men are noisy over the beverage ? 
Is not my bedside void of greeting visits ! 

VI. Wooden crook ! is it not the spring, 

When the cuckoos are brownish, when the foam is bright ? 
I am destitute of a maiden's love. 

VII. Wooden crook ! is it not the beginning of summer. 
Are not the furrows brown, are not the corn-blades 

curled ? 
It is refreshing to me to look at thy beak ! 

VIIL Wooden crook ! thou contented branch 
That supportest a mourning old man ! 
Llyw^arch of pleasant talk ! 

IX. Wooden crook 1 thou hardy branch 

That bearest with me — God protect thee ! 
Thou art justly called the tree of wandering. 


X. Wooden crook ! be thou steady, 

So that thou mayest support me the better- 
Am not I Llywarch known to many far away ? 

XL Surely old age is uniting itself with me, 
From my hair to my teeth, 
And the glowing eyeball which the young ones loved ! 

XII. Surely old age is uniting itself with me, 
From my hair to my teeth. 
And the glowing eyeball which the women loved ! 

xiiL The wind grinningly blusters out, white is the skirt of 
the wood, 
Lively is the stag, there is no moisture on the hill ; 
Feeble is the aged, slowly he moves ! 

xiv. This leaf, is it not driven by the wind ? 
Woe to it as to its fate ! 
It is old, this year was it born. 

XV. What I loved when a youth are hMeful to me now : 
A stranger's daughter, and a gray Iteed. 
Am not I for them unmeet ? ' 

XVI, The four most hateful things to me through life. 
Have met together with one accord : — 
Cough and old age, sickness and grief 

XVII. I am old, I am lonely, I am decrepit and cold. 
After the sumptuous bed of honour : 
I am wretched, I am triply bent ! 


xviil. I am triply bent and old, I am fickly bold, 
I am rash, I am outrageous : 
Those that loved me, love me not. 

XIX. Young maidens love me not, I am visited by none, 
I cannot move about — 
Ah ! death, that he does not seek me ! 

XX. I am sought by neither sleep nor gladness ; 
After the slaughter of Uawr and Gwen, 

I am outrageous and loathsome, I am old. 

XXI. Wretched was the fate decreed to Ilywarch 
On the night he was born ; 

Long pain without being delivered of his load of trouble. 

XXII. Array not thyself after waiting ; let not thy mind be 

vexed ; 
Sharp is the gale, and bleak the spring ! — 
Accuse me not, my mother — I am thy son ! 

XXIII. Do I not recognise by my Awen, 
My descentij sway, and kindred : 
Three themes of the harmonious Awen ? 

XXIV. Sharp is my spear, furious in the onset ; 
I will prepare to watch the ford ; 
Support against falling may God grant me. 

XXV. Shouldst thou run away, I will weep for thee ; 
Shouldst thou be slain, I shall mourn thee : 
Lose not the countenance of the men of conflict. 


XXVI. I will not lose thy countenance, prone to warfare, 

From the time that the hero puts on harness for the 

course ; 
I will hear the pang ere I quit the spot. 

XXVII. Gliding is the wave along the beach ; 

I perceive that the design of that battle will be frustrated, 
It is usual for the talkative to run away. 

xxviii. Of that which concerns me I will speak ; 

There is breaking of spears about the place where I am ; 
I will not say but that I may retreat. 

XXIX. Soft is the bog, the cliff is hard. 

Before the hart's hoof the edge of the bank breaks, 
A promise not fulfilled is none at all. 

XXX. The streams will divide around the wall of the Caer, 
And I will prognosticate — 
A shield with a fractured front before I skulk. 

XXXI. The horn given to thee by Urien, 

With the wreath of gold around its rim, 
Blow in it, if thou art in danger. 

XXXII. For the terror of death from the base men of Lloegyr 
I wiU not tarnish my honour ; 

I will not dispraise maidens. 

XXXIII. "Whilst I was of the age of yonder youth, 
That wears the golden spurs, 

I was active in thrusting the spear. 


XXXIV. Truly thy young man is faithful, 

Thou art alive, and thy witness is slain, 

The old man that is now feeble was not so in his youth. 

XXXV. Gwen, by the Uawen, watched last night, 
And success did not fail him : 
The battle progressed on the green embankment. 

xxxvL Gwen, by the Llawen, watched last night, 
With the shield on the shoulder ; 
As he was my son, he did not retreat. 

XXXVII. Gwen with the lowering look, troubled is my mind, 
Thy death greatly provokes my wrath — 
It is not kindred (only) that will speak of thee ! 

XXXVIII. Gwen with thigh of wide opening watched last night 
On the border of the ford of Morlas ; 
And as he was my son, he did not retreat. 

XXXIX. Gwen, I knew thy inherent disposition ; 

In the assault like the eagle at faU of rivers thou wert; 
If I were fortunate thou wouldst have escaped. 

XL. Let the face of the ground be turned up, let the 
assailants be covered. 
When chiefs repair to the toil of war ; 
Gwen, woe to him that is over old, for thee he is 

XLI. Let the face of the ground be turned up, and the 
plain be covered. 
When the opposing spears are lifted up. 
Gwen, woe to him that is over old, that he should 
have lost thee. 


XLii. My son was a man, splendid was his fame ; 
And he was the nephew of Urien ; 
On the ford of Morlas, Gwen was slain. 

XLiu. The shrine of the fierce overbearing foe, 

That vanquished the circularly compact army of 

Iloegr ; 
The grave of Gwen, the son of Lly warch Hen, is this ! 

XLiv. Four-and-twenty sons have been to me, 

Wearing the golden chain, leaders of armies ; 
Gwen was the best of them. 

XL v. Four-and-twenty sons have been to me. 

Wearing the golden chain, leaders of battle ; 
Gwen was the best son of Ms father. 

XLVI. Four-and-twenty sons to me have been, 

Wearing the golden chain, leading princes ; 
Compared with Gwen they were but striplings. 

XL VII. Four-and-twenty sons were in the family of Llywarch, 
Of brave men full of the wrath of war ; 
Their march was a rush, immense their fame. 

XLViii. Four-and-twenty were my sons complete ; 
My flesh they have caused to wither ; 
It is well that my budget of misfoi*tune is come ! 

XLix. When Pyll was slain, gashing was the wound ; 
And the blood on the hair seemed horrible ; 
And on both banks of the Ffraw there was violence. 


L. A room migM be formed for the wings of shields. 
Which would hold one standing upright, 
That were broken in the grasp of PylL 

LI. The chosen man amongst my sons. 
When each assaulted the foe. 
Was fair Pyll, impetuous as a fire through a chimney. 

Lii. Gracefully he placed his thigh over the saddle. 
Of his horse, on the near and far side — 
Pyll, impetuous as the fire through a cliimney. 

Liii. He was gentle, with a hand eager for battle ; 
He was second to no treasure ; 
He was a bulwark on the course — 
Fair Pyll ! fearful is his covering of separation. 

Liv. When he stood at the door of his tent, 
On the dark-gray steed, 
At the sight, the wife of Pyll woidd recognise a hero. 

LV. There was fractured before Pyll a strong skull ; 

Seldom would the silent coward be concealed from him ; 
The weak is satisfied without anything. 

LVI. Fair Pyll, widely spread his fame : 

Am I not invigorated since thou hast existed 
As my son, and joyful to have known thee ? 

LVii. The best three men under heaven 
That guarded their habitation, — 
Pyll, and Selyv, and Sandev. 


LViii, A shield I gave to Pyll ; 

Before he slept was it not perforated ? 

To promise it carelessly was to depreciate it. 

Lix. Should Cymry come, and the predatory host of Lloegr, 
And many from distant parts, 
Pyll would show them conduct. 

LX, Nor Pyll nor Madawg would be long lived, 
If they preserved the custom. 
Would they surrender ? they would not surrender ! 
they would never ask for truce ! 

LXi. Behold here the grave of a faultless one and warlike ; 
With the Bards his fame went, where would not have 

Pyll, if longer he had continued ? 

LXii. Maen, and Madawg, and Medel, valiant men, 
And brothers not refractory, 
Selyv, Heilyn, Llawr, and Lliver. 

LXiii. The grave of Gwell is in Ehiw Velen ; 
The grave of Sawyl in Llangollen ; 
Llawr protects the pass of Llorien. 

LXiv. The grave of Ehudd, is it not covered with sods ? 
The earth of Ammarch does not conceal 
The grave of Llyngedwy, the son of Llywarch. 

Lxv. Far from hence is Aber Llyw, 
Farther are the two Cyvedliws : 
Talan, thou hast repaid my tears to-day. 


LXVI. I have drunk wine from the goblet ; 

He would rush forward against the lance-bearer ; 
Like the wings of the dawn were the gleamings of the 
spear of Duawg. 

Lxvii. I have repented of the time that I entreated 
That thou shouldst not have thy choice ; 
It would have been generous to have life prolonged 
a month. 

Lxviii. T know the voice of distress : — 

When he descended into the congress-house, 
Chief of men, a goblet of wine he deserved. 






Text, vol. ii. p. 53. Notes, vol. ii. p. 351. 

I. ^)!N" a fine night Pen Gethin heard the shout of a host, 
When he took a long leap ; 
Unless the ground be guarded he wiU not cease. 

II. Since Coegawg is so rich as this in gold, 
Close to the court of Gwallawg, 

I also shall be wealthy. 

III. Accursed be the tree 

Which pulled out his eye in his presence, 
Gwallawg ab Lleenawg, the ruler. 

IV. Accursed be the black tree 

That pulled out his eye from its place, 
Gwallawg ab Lleenawg, the chief of armies. 

V. Accursed be the white tree 

That pulled out his eye from his head, 
Gwallawg ab Lleenawg, the sovereign. 

VI. Accursed be the green tree 

That pulled out his eye when a youth, 
Gwallawg ab Lleenawg, the honourable.* 

* On the margin : — 

No one that was eminent went 
In the way that Gwallawg did. 
With his steel into the meadow. 

No one that was honourable went 

In the way that Meurig did. 

With a handage to the woman in three folds. 





Text, vol. ii. p. 149. Notes, vol. ii. p. 401. 

3In the name of the Euler of heaven, the mighty one 

The supporter of his friends shall keep possession of his 

Splendid his princely spear. 

Warlike kings spear-scouting. 

He will defend the pleasant plain of Lleenawg ; 

The ruthless pushing shafts are broken. 

Long they will experience 

The gratitude of Prydain. 

From the bush of Maw and Eiddyn, 
10 They would not take opposition. 

Friendly the aid of Clydwyn. 

May I be satisfied ! He supplied his fleet 

From spears until the shafts were heated. 

A coffin to every one his ambition. 

They cannot reckon the battles fought 

By Gwallawg. Better is wild food than a she-bear. 

A battle in Agathes in defence, 

Praise his active judgment caused. 

A battle in the region of Bretrwyn with heat, 
20 A great fire. Limited is his vehemence. 

A battle, there was a rule of general benefit. 

A battle, a battle of trembling in Aeron. 

A battle in Arddunion and Aeron. 

Bring reproach to the youths. 

A battle in the wood of Beit at the close of the day. 

Thou didst not think of thy foes. 

A battle in the presence of Mabon. 
VOL. I. z 


He will not mention the contradiction of the saved. 

A battle in Gwensteri, and thou subduest Lloegyr. 
30 A darting of spears there is made. 

A battle in the marsh of Terra with the dawn, 

Easily broken (was) the terrible arch, 

At the first uttering of the word, * 

Of kings who were extinguished in the war. 

Men with full intent to obtain cattle. 

Haearddur and Hyveidd and Gwallawg, 

And Owen of Mona of Maelgwnian quality, 

Will lay the Peithwyr prostrate, 

At the end of the wood of Cleddyfein, 
40 From which there will be pierced corpses, 

And the ravens wandering about. 

In Prydain, in Eiddyn, acknowledged. 

In Gafran, in the retreat of Brecheinawc. 

In energy, in exalted covering. J 

He sees not a hero, who saw not Gwallawg. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 193. Notes, vol. ii. p. 415. 

3I£N the name of the Euler of the high powers of heaven. 

They sing of, they deplore the prince ; 

He rejected uniform ranks of the rulers. 

Of the hosts of Eun and Nudd and Nwython. 

I will not praise contrary to the custom of the Bards of 

the Brython. 
Wonderfully liberal of the knowledge of astrologers. 
One station of the complete songster ; excellent of song, 
I ardently desire ; I will sing to the Guledig. 
In the country where he was trembling, 



10 He will not cause me to be unable to form the lay. 
It is difficult to utter odes ; 
That wiU not be deficient to the Guledig that does not 

Of looking at a heavy ode of sovereignty 
In his life will not come the advantage of the grave. 
They will not be satisfied with the gratification of their 

Harder the torment of a liberal course, 
A multitude present beyond Prydain. 
Thy excessive care of the too sprightly is corrupted. 
Let it be corrupted. He shall be cut to pieces, he shall 

be judged. 
20 He wiU judge all, the supreme man. 

With his wiU as a judge ; and let him be benefited, 
Not the man that claims the mortuary. 
A youth violent that regrets the milky food, 
Like the herald of Gwallawg guiding on. 
Of a forbearing aspect is the countenance of Gwallawg. 
He inquires of no one what he has done. 
Is he not my chief? Is there not sold to you 
Thick mead in the end of summer ? 
There will not increase save six. 
30 Sweeter to thee is conversation from elders. 
Talkative is the privileged orator 
Of kings in the luxuriant circle of the good mead. 
Like the sun, the warm animator of summer, let him 

sound the greatest song. 
I will sing the wise song, the song of the host of harmony, 
They will be, thou wilt be a Druid in summer time, the 

aspect of the son 
Of Lleenawg, with a flowing manly robe. 
Light, a robe of heat ; vapour of heat, heat of vapour. 
Whilst it rose it was contained without disgrace. 



A sword will destroy the swordsman's horse ; 
40 His host will not break me to theft, 

The native country of a slave is not free to him, 

They will perforate the fronts of shields before the fronts 

of horses. 
From his steed of tumult, Morial shall appear before the 

Fiercely impassioned. They shall pledge the rich plains 
From Caer Clud to Caer Caradawg, 
The support of the land of Penprys and Gwallawg, 
The king of the kings of tranquil aspect. 





Text, vol. ii. p. 291. Notes, vol. ii. p. 448. 

3K HAVE freely greeted, I will freely greet, the familiar 

greeter of 
Urien Reged. May he diffuse his joy abroad ! 
Gold and silver, how great their consumption and 

(Even) before they could come betweep the hands of the 

scatterer ! 
leuav caused loss and sorrow for horses daUy ; 
Ceneu his brother, dilatory in the conflict, was not skilful ; 
Urien made retaliation for the dishonour 
Of Cynin the active, ignominious was their execution. 
About Aerven, an uncovered precipice, there will come an 

10 Selev has been captured ; he was incensed for what was 

to come. 
It will fare worse with the free and the bond on their 

Blades will be reddened, through proud words for the fruit 

of their trees. 
The four men will maintain the place of four hundred, 
With the deepest water. I would bless the corrupt in the 

enclosure on their account ; 
And whoever obtains it, may he be blessed for ever ! 
There will befall a loss from confiding in the claimant ; 


And hands without thumbs, and blades on the flesh, and a 

poor muster. 
Puerile age will not be harmonious in the distraction. 
There will be no fellowship, nor confidence in any toward 

20 A dragon from Gwynedd of precipitous lands and gentle 

To the Lloegrians will go, when the report of him will 

spread abroad. 
Stonework will be broken, with terrible destruction, in the 

encounter ; 
And more will be lost than spared of the Gwyndodians. 
From mutual counselling, there will be means of deliverance 

by sea and land. 
There will arise from concealment a man that will be a 

blessing to the Gwyndodians ; 
And the Brythyon, though a remnant, will be victorious 

over the ungentle multitude. 
There will come a time when song will not be cherished, 

nor will it be elaborate ; 
The ruler will love wealth, and one sister will be bearish 

to another. 
Killing and drowning from Eleri as far as Chwilvynydd, 
30 A conquering and unmerciful one will triumph ; 

Small will be his army in returning from the (action of) 

A bear from the south, will arise, meet 
The Lloegrians, and kill vast numbers of Powysians. 
The affair of Cors Vochno, he that will escape from it will 

be fortunate ; 
There will be twelve women, and no wonder, for one man. 
The age of youth will fare unbecomingly worse ; 
After the tumultuous extermination, a bearded man in a 

hundred will not be a warrior. 


Urien of Eeged, generous he is, and will be. 
And has been since Adam. 
40 He, proud in the hall, has the most wide-spreading sword 
Among the thirteen kings of the North. 
Do I know his name — Aneurin the poet with the flowing 

I being Taliesin,from the borders of the lake of Geirionnydd? 
May I not, when old, 
Support my sore necessity, 
If I praise not Urien. Amen. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 183. Notes, vol. ii. p. 412, 

7^1 HE men of Catraeth arose with the dawn. 
About the Guledig, of work a profitable merchant. 
This Urien, without mockery is his regret. 
He sustains the sovereignty and its demands. 
Warlike, the grandeur of a perfect prince of baptism. 
The men of Prydain hurtful in battle array. 
At Gwenystrad, continuously offerers of battle. 
Protected neither the field nor woods 
The people with shelter, when tribulation comes. 
10 like the wave loud roaring over the beach, 
I saw valiant men in battle array, 
And after the morning, battle-mangled flesh. 
I saw a tumult of three limits slain, 
A shout active in front was heard. 
In defending Gwenystrad was seen 
A mound and slanting ground obstructing. 
In the pass of the ford I saw men gory-tinted. 
Dropping their arms before the paUid miserable ones. 
They join in peace as they were losers. 


20 Hand on the cross they wail on the gravel bank of 

The tribes revel over the rising wave. 

The billows protect the hair of their captures. 

I saw men of splendid progress 
• With blood that clotted on the garments, 

Toiling energetically and incessantly in battle. 

The covering battle, where there was no flight, when 

The ruler of Eeged, I am astonished at what was dared. 

I saw a brow covered with rage on Urien, 

When he furiously attacked his foes at the white stone 
30 Of Galystem. His rage was a blade ; 

The bucklered men were sustained in need. 

May a desire of battle come on Eurwyn. 

And until I fail in old age, 

In the sore necessity of death, 

May I not be smiling, 

If I praise not Urien. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 184. Notes, vol. ii. p. 412. 

'^imEIEN of the cultivated plain, 
The most generous man of baptism. 
Abundance has been given 
To the men of earth. 
As it has been gathered. 
It has been scattered. 
Joyful the bards of baptism 
Whilst thy life continues. 
There is greater joy 
] For the high -famed, and liberal of praise. 


It is greater glory, 

That Urien and his children should exist. 

And he especially 

The supreme Guledig. 

In a distant city, 

A principal pilgrim, 

The Iloegrians know him, 

When they converse. 

Death they had, 
20 And frequent vexation, 

Burning their homesteads, 

And drawing their coverings. 

And loss, 

And great incomprehension, 

Without obtaining deliverance 

From Urien Reged. 

The protector of Reged, 

The praise of lor, the anchor of the country. 

My inclination is on thee, 
30 Of every hearing. 

Heavy thy spear-throwing, 

When the battle is heard. 

When they resort to battle, 

A smarting is made. 

Fire in houses before day. 

Before the sovereign of the cultivated plain. 

The most fair cultivated plain, 

And its most generous men. 

The Angles are accustomed to be without homage 
40 From most valiant king. 

A most valiant progeny. 

Thine is the best. 

Of those who have been, or will be, 

There is not thy match. 


When he is looked upon, 
Very great is the terror. 
It is usual to look for him, 
For an active king. 
Around him a modest demeanour, 
50 And the varied multitude, 

The splendid prince of the North, 

The choicest of princes. 

And when I fail in age, 

In the sore necessity of death, 

May I not be smiling. 

If I praise not Urien. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 185. Notes, vol. ii. p. 412. 

3^N rest, 
A song I kept. 
Respect and plenty 
And mead I possessed. 
I possessed mead. 
His triumph. 
And fair lands, 
A great wonder. 
And gold and hour, 
10 And hour and treasure, 
And plenty 
And esteem. 
And giving a desire, 
A desire of giving it, 
To encourage me. 
He slays, he plagues, 
He cherishes, he honours, 


He honours, he cherishes, 
He slays before him. 
20 Presence was given 

To the bards of the worid. 
Ever certainly 
To thee they say 
According to thy wilL 
God hath caused to thee 
The shoulder of kings 
Against despicable fear. 
Incitement of battle 
The protection of a country. 
30 The country protected 
Battle of incitement 
Usual about thee 
The tumult of capering. 
The capering of tumult 
And drinking of ale. 
Ale for the drinking, 
And a fair homestead. 
And beautiful clothing, 
To me has been extended. 
40 The lofty Llwyvenydd, 
And requests open. 
In one dwell 
Great and little. 
Taliessin's song. 
Thou comfortest it. 
Thou art the best 
Of those that have heard 
His vehement animosities. 
I also will praise 
50 Thy deeds. 

And until I fail in old age. 


lu the sore necessity of death, 
May I not be smiling, 
If I praise not Urien. 


Text, vol. ii, p. 187. Notes, vol. ii. p. 413. 

^N one year 

One that provides 

Wine and bounty and mead, 

And manliness without enmity, 

And a musician excelling, 

With a swarm of spears about him. 

With ribbands at their heads, 

And their fair appearances. 

Every one went from his presence, 
10 They came into the conflict, 

And his horse under him. 

Purposing the affair of Mynaw. 

And more harmony, 

Advantage flowing about his hand. 

Eight score of one colour 

Of calves and cows. 

Milch cows and oxen. 

And every fair need. 

I should not be joyful 
20 If Urien were slain. 

He is dear before he went. 

A Saxon shivering, trembling, 

With hair white-washed. 

And a bier his destiny. 

With a bloody face. 

For the blood of men a little protected. 


And a man of the intrenchment persevering, 

Whose wife is a widow. 

Mine is the wine of the prince, 
30 Mine is the wine of frequent parties. 

My chance, my aid, my head. 

Since the rising up will not cause 

A striking fronting one another. 

Porter, listen. 

What is the noise : is it the earth that quakes ? 

Or is it the sea that swells ? 

Whitened, clinging together, against the infantry. 

If there is a cry on the hill, 

Is it not Urien that terrifies ? 
40 If there is a cry in the valley, 

Is it not Urien that pierces ? 

If there is a cry in the mountain, 

Is it not Urien that conquers ? 

If there is a cry on the slope, 

Is it not Urien that wounds ? 

If there is a sigh on the dyke, 

Is it not Urien that is active ? 

A cry of a journey over the plain, 

A cry in every meandering vale. 
50 Nor will one sneeze or two 

Protect from death. 

He would not be on famine 

With spoils surrounding him. 

Over-querulous, trailing, of a blue tint. 

Like death was his spear. 

Killing his enemy. 

And until I fail in old age, 

In the sore necessity of death, 

May I not be smiling, 
60 If I praise not Urien. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 190. Notes, voL ii. p. 414. 

^]^XTOL the career of the kings of Eeged. 

Was I not an expense to thee, though I am thine ? 

They brandished the blade of battle, and spears of 

Men brandished under the round shield ; lights 

White gulls trampled. 

It was not feU fought. A false king is not good. 

The Guledig will prepare himself against contusions. 

He will not drive the business of those that seek him. 

We shall have a nimble horseman, of Gwirion's fame, 
10 A leader of fair promise, wise as Don. 

Until Ulph came with violence on his enemies. 

Until Urien came in the day to Aeron. 

He was not an agressor, there appeared not 

The uplifted front of Urien before Powys. 

Was not easily treated the heat of the compact of the tribes, 

Hyveidd and Gododin and the lion prince. 

Bold in patience, and journey of joint summons. 

Without pollution he drew blood in his veins. 

(He) that saw Llwyvenydd humbly will tremble, 
20 A conspicuous banner in the second place, 

A battle in the ford of Alclud, a battle at the Inver. 

The battle of Cellawr Brewyn. The battle of Hireurur. 

A battle in the underwood of Cadleu, a battle in Aberioed. 

He interposes with the steel loud (and) great. 

The battle of Cludvein, the affair of the head of the wood. 

A tribe attracted of dogs to a plentitude of blood. 

To destroy supreme felicity is the aim 

Of the Angles, a hostile crew. 


Euddy-stained from the conflict with XJlph at the ford. 
30 Better is born the Guledig, forward was born his lord, 

Prydain's chief proprietor, harmonious his lord. 

He bare not clothes, either blue or gray, 

Or red or green ; he will not honour the ground. 

He placed not his thigh over Moel Maelaur, 

On horses of the speckled race of Mor GreidiawL 

Summer until winter, and gently in hand. 

On ford, and course exercising them. 

And a guest imder songs and exalting one's-self, 

And until the end of the world was perceived the band. 
40 They arrange, they sweep about chainless for an image, 

Uncowardly about lights did I not mangle ? 

I strove against the fall of spears on shoulders. 

Shield in hand, Godeu and Keged protecting ; 

Did I not see a man folding cattle ? 

A serpent of enchantment, a comely trampler of the 

Do I not know a war wherein he was lost. 

And how much I lose by his perishing ? 

T shall not be extremely angry to possess mead-liquor. 

From the heroic Hyveidd, of hospitable course. 
50 Wit not I that was permitted (to have) shelter of the 

My kings were broken off from cheerful graces, 

Shelter of the country good to the oppressed. 

And until I fail in age. 

In the sore necessity of death. 

May I not be smiling. 

If I praise not Urien. 



The Satisfaction of Urien. 
book of taliessin xxxix. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 195. Notes, vol. ii. p. 415. 

J^MHE lion will be most implacable ; 

I wiQ not deplore him. 

Urien I will approach, 

To him I will sing. 

When will come my surety, 

I shall obtain admission. 

Of the very best part, 

Under the flow of melody, 

It concerns me not much, 
10 The everlasting lineage which I see. 

I wiU not go to them, I will not be with them. 

I will not address the North 

And the kings of the plain. 

Though there should be for many 

That I should see a mutual pledging. 

I have no need of affection : 

Urien will not refuse me 

The lands of Llwyvenydd. 

Mine is their wealth, 
20 Mine are the festivals, 

Mine is the produce, 

Mine are the metals, 

And its rich productions. 

Mead out of buffalo-horns 

And good in abundance, 

From the best prince, 

The most generous that has been heard of. 


The chiefs of every language 

To thee are all captive. 
30 For thee there will be lamentation when thy death 
is certain. 

Though I should have preferred him 

After being benefited, I would grow old. 

There was not one that I loved better, 

(Of those) that I knew before. 

At times I see 

The amount of what I shall have. 

Except to God supreme, 

I will not renounce 

Thy royal sons, 
40 The most generous of men, 

Their spears shall resound 

In the land of their enemies. 

And until I fail in old age, 

In the sore necessity of death, 

May I not be smiling, 

If I praise not Urien. 


The Spoils of Taliessin, a Song to Urien. 
book of taliessin xxxvil 

Text, vol. ii. p. 192. Notes, vol. ii. p. 415. 

SliN manliness he will greet my trouble, 
Should I be bled, I should evidently get better ; 
Truly I saw no one before, who saw not in me 
Every indisposition, he wiU cultivate his business. 
I saw a feeding about a lion for plants, 
I saw leaves of luxuriant growth. 
I saw a branch with equal blossoms. 
Did I not see a prince ? most liberal his customs, 
VOL. I. 2 A 


I saw the ruler of Catraeth beyond the plains 
10 Be my oak (i.e. prince) the gleaming spirit {i.e. lightning) 

of the Cymry. 
The value of my cry great will be its advantage to 

The chief of men, shield of warriors. 
The extensive booty of the ashen shaft is my fair Awen. 
A shield before a prince, bright his smile, 
Heroic, aspiring, the most heroic is Urien. 
A merchant will not oppose me. Tumultuous 
The slothful one, brightly shines the blue of the enamelled 

covering ; prolific and highly exalted 
Every one ; a step without skill on the side of the watery 

fronts of the Mordei. 
A chief excessively active to us he will come of thy will. 
20 Active the yellow-gray one in the hall. 
Full of people. A protector in Aeron. 
Great his energy, his poets, and his musicians. 
Very fierce is lal against his enemies. ' 
May great strength of men be connected with Brython. 
Like the wheeling of a fiery meteor over the earth. 
Like a wave that governs Llwyvenydd. 
Like the harmonious ode of Gwen and Gweithen, 
Like Mor the greatly courteous is Urien. " 
In his early career an intrepid hero. 
30 He is such a ruler of kings as Dyawr, 

He is one {i.e. unequalled) as a chaser of the swift 

horses of the multitude. 
In the beginning of May in Powys, in battle array, 
He is one, coming when he visits his people. 
Eagle of the land, extensive thy glance. 
I would have requested an active courser 
Of vigorous trot, the price of the spoil of Taliessin. 
One is the violent course on the bottom and the summit, 


One is the gift of a baron to a lord. 
One is the herd of stags in their flight, 
40 One is the wolf not covetous of broom, 
One is the country where a son is born, 
And of one form and one sound is the battle-place 

of warriors. 
Of one sound they will evilly yoke 
And Ceneu and Nudd Hael, and an extensive 

country under him. 
And if I obtain for myself a smile, 
He will make the bards ever joyful. 
Before that I could wish dead the sons of Gwyden, 
May the happy country of Urien be filled with blood. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 267. Notes, vol. ii. p. 437. 

I. ^I^ET the furious Unhwch lead me on 
To the front of the mutual conflict — 
'Tis better to be killed than parley on terms. 

II. Let the furious Unhwch lead me on — 
It was said in the Pass of Llech, — 
" Dunawd the son of Pabo wiU not lurk." 

III. Let the furious Unhwch lead me on — 

Like the sullen agitation of the sea was the war- 
expanding tumult. 
Of Urien with the ardent grasp. 

rv. The eagle of Gal, Unhwch, bold and generous, 
Wrathful in war, sure of conquest. 
Was Urien with the ardent grasp. 


V. The eagle of Gal, Unhwch, 

The possessor of the energetic soul . . . 

The cell of the sea of smooth inlets with green surface. 

VI. A head I bear by my side, 

That has been an assaulter between two hosts — 
The magnanimous son of Cynvarch was its possessor. 

VII. A head I bear by my side, 

The head of Urien, the mild leader of his army — 
And on his white bosom the sable raven is perched. 

VIII. A head I bear in my shirt, 

The head of Urien who governed a court in mildness — 
And on his white bosom the sable raven gluts. 

IX. A head I bear in my hand. 

He that was a soaring eagle, whose like will not be had, 
His princely breast is assailed by the devourer. 

X. A head I bear by the side of my thigh, 
That was the shield of his country, 
That was a wheel in battle, 
That was a ready sword in his country's battles. 

XI. A head I bear on my sword : 

Better his being alive than that he should go to the 

grave ; 
He was a castle for old age. 

XII. A head I bear from the bordering land of Penawg, 
Wide extended was his warfare : 
Urien the eloquent, whose fame went far. 


XIII. A head I bear on my shoulder, 

That would not bring on me disgrace — 
Woe to my hand that my lord is slain. 

XIV. A head I bear on my arm, 

He that overcame the land of Bryneich — 
But after being a hero, now on the hearse. 

XV. A head I bear in the grasp of my hand. 
Of a chief that mildly governed a country ; 
The head, the most powerful pillar of Prydain. 

XVI. A head I bear that supported me, 

Is there any known but he welcomed ? 
Woe my hand, gone is he that sustained me. 

xviL A head I bear from the Eiw, 

With his lips foaming with blood — 
Woe to Reged from this day ! 

xviii. My arm has not flagged ; my bosom is greatly troubled ; 
Ah ! my heart, is it not broken ? 
A head I bear that was my support. 

XIX. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-day. 
Under earth and stones : 
Woe my hand, that the father of Owain is slain ! 

XX. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-day, 
Amidst earth and oak : 

Woe my hand, that my cousin is slain ! 

XXI. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-night ; 
Under stones let it be left : 

Woe my hand, what a step has fate decreed me ! 


XXII. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-night 
Amidst earth and green sods : 
Woe my hand, that the son of Cynvarch is slain ! 

XXIII. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-day 
Under the greensward and a tumulus : 

Woe my hand, that my lord is slain ! 

XXIV. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-day. 
Under earth and sand : 

Woe my hand, the step that is decreed to me ! 

XXV. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-day 
Under earth and nettles : 

Woe my hand, that such a step could have happened 

to me ! 

XXVI. The delicate white corpse will be covered to-day 
Under earth and blue stones : 

Woe my hand, the step that has befallen me ! 

XXVII. A master-feat of the world the brother has been in 

pursuit of ; 
For the horns of the buffalo, for a festive goblet ; 
He was the depredator with the hounds in the covert 

of Eeged ! 

XXVIII. A master-feat of the world the brother has eagerly 

For the equivocal horn of the buffalo ; 
He was the chaser with the hounds with the men of 


XXIX. Eurdyl will be joyless this night, 

And multitudes (will be so) besides : 
In Aber Lieu has Urien been slain. 


XXX. Eurdyl will be sorrowful from the tribulation of this 
And from the fate that is to me befallen ; 
That her brother should be slain at Aber lieu. 

XXXI. On Friday I saw great anxiety 
Among the hosts of Baptism, 
Like a swarm without a hive, bold in despair. 

XXXII. Were there not given to me by Eun, greatly fond 
of war, 
A hundred swarms and a hundred shields ? 
But one swarm was better far than all. 

xxxm. Were there not given to me by Eun, the famous 
A cantrev, and a hundred oxen ? 
But one gift was better far than those. 

xxxiv. In the lifetime of Eun, the peaceless ranger, 
The unjust will wallow in dangers ; 
May there be irons on the steeds of rapine. 

XXXV. The extreme I know of my trouble : 

Is what all wUl hear in every season of warfare ; 
No one can charge me with anything. 

xxxvi, Dunawd, the leading horseman, would drive onward, 
Intent upon making a corpse, 
Against the onset of Owain. 

xxxvii. Dunawd, the chief of the age, would drive onward, 
Intent upon making battle, 
Against the conflict of Pasgen. 


XXXVIII. Gwallawg, the horseman of tumult, would drive 
Intent upon trying the sharpest edge, 
Against the conflict of Elphin. 

XXXIX. Bran, the son of Mellym, would drive onward. 
Collecting men to burn my ovens : 
A woK that looked grimly by the banks of Abers. 

XL. Morgant and his men would drive onward. 
Collecting a host to burn my lands : 
He was a mouse that sci-atched against a rock. 

XLI. I pushed onward when Elgno was slain ; 

The blade which Pyll brandished would gleam 

If tents were pitched in his country. 

XLii. A second time I saw, after a conflict, 

A golden shield on the shoulder of Urien ; 
A second to him there was Elgno Hen. 

XLiii. Upon the resolution there came a failing 
From the dread of a furious horseman : 
Will there be another compared with Urien ? 

XLiv. Decapitated is my lord, his opponents are powerful : 
Warriors will not love his enemies : 
Many sovereigns has he consumed. 

XLV. The ardent disposition of Urien ! it is sadness to me 
There is commotion in every region. 
In pursuit of Llovan Llawdivro. 


XLVI. Gentle gate ! thou art heard afar ; 

There is scarcely another deserving praise, 
Since Urien is no more. 

XLVii. Many a hunting-dog and fine grown hawk 
Have been trained on its flow, 
Before Erlleon became desolate. 

XLVlii. This hearth, deserted by the shout of war, 

More congenial on its floor would have been 
' The mead, and loquacious drinkers. 

XLix. This hearth, will not nettles cover it ? 
While its defender lived, 
More congenial to it were those who made requests. 

L. This hearth, will it not be covered by the greensward ? 
In the lifetime of Owain and Elphin, 
Its cauldron boiled the prey. 

LI. This hearth, will it not be covered with musty fingers? 
More congenial around its viand would have been 
The gashing sword of the dauntless. 

Lii. This hearth, will not the slender brambles cover it ? 
Burning wood used to be on it, 
Which Eeged was accustomed to give. 

Liii. This hearth, wiU not thorns cover it ? 

More congenial on it would have been the mixed 

Of Owain's social retinue. 


Liv, This hearth, will it not be covered over by the ants 1 
More accustomed it was to bright torches, 
And harmless festivities. 

LV. This hearth, will it not be covered with dock-leaves ? 
More congenial on its floor would have been 
The mead, and loquacious drinkers. 

LVi. This hearth, will it not be turned up by the swine ? 
More congenial to it would have been 
The joy of men, and the circling horns of banquet. 

LVII. This hearth, will it not be scratched up by the fowl ? 
Want would not approach it 
In the lifetime of Owain and Urien. 

LVlii. This buttress, and that one there, 

More congenial around them would have been 
The joy of a host, and the tread of a minstrel. 





Text, vol. ii. p. 162. Notes, vol. ii. p. 406. 

J^i. rumour has come to me from Calchvynyd, 

A disgrace in the south country, a praiseworthy pillage. 

And he will give to a lion the fierceness of his baptism. 

Full is his strath of joyful produce. 

The people are satiated with warfare, the strangers are 

A battle of encroachment, during the excessive heat of 

the country, 
A wonder of Cymry that relate it. 
Let the cattle of the son of Idno come to Dyved. 
And let no one dare not to come. 
10 To pay a hundred cows I will give one calf 
The slaughter of thy foes about thy country. 
Like fire it heats a vapour where it happens to be. 
When we made an expedition to the land of Gwydno, 
There was a corpse delicately fair between the gravel 

and the pebbles on the bank. 
When he returned in the autumn from the country of 

The cow did not low to her calf. 
Will greet Mabon from another country, 
A battle, when Owain defends the cattle of his country. 
A battle in the ford of Alclud, a battle in the Gwen, 


20 A battle, in conjunction of tumult to them. 

A battle against Eodawys of snowy-white aspect, 

Brandishing of spears and black, and bright sheets, 

A battle on this side of the gleaming guiding heart of oak. 

A shield in hand, the camp trembling, 

Saw Mabon on the fair portion of Eeidol. 

Against the kine of Eeged they engaged, 

If they had wings they would have flown. 

Against Mabon without corpses they would not go. 

Meeting, they descend and commence the battle. 
30 The country of Mabon is pierced with destructive 

When Owain descends for the kine of his father. 

There broke out lime, and wax, and hawthorn. 

Is it not fair prey for any one to take a bald cow ? 

Support. each other against men with ruddy spears. 

Against the four-way-spreading conflagration. 

Against the mighty rising. 

Against gore on flesh, 

Against a dismal straining. 

A rumour came to me, 
40 From the bright lands of the South. 

Splendid and liberal chiefs declare 

That thou shalt not be addressed by vulgar ones. 

About the ford of the boundary, about the alders his 

When was caused the battle of the king, sovereign, prince, 

Very wild will the kine be before Mabon. 

From the meeting of Gwrgim. 

The resting-place of the corpses of some was in Kun. 

There was joy, there will be for ravens. 

Loud the talk of men after 
50 Battle. Escaped not the shield of Owain. 

With notched shield an opposing in battle tumult, 


Cattle would not run about without crimson faces. 

Crimson were the kine of Beuder, and great his grace, 

Gore surrounding the top of his head. 

And a white face conspicuous the gasping. 

The golden saddle (was) drenched in gore, as to its 

The Gwentians praise the booty, the booty was extended. 
The booty in front of the eager battle of the eager 

A booty of heads with forked branches. On the shields 
GO Awfully the blades are falling about the head. 
A battle in front of Owain, great, great his rage. 
A fine day, they fell, men, defending (their) country. 
There rested the extreme-impelling advantage of their 



The Apfair of Argoed Llwtfain. 

book of taliessin xxxv. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 189. Notes, vol. iL p. 413. 

2l£N the morning of Saturday there was a great battle. 
From when the sun rose until it gained its height, 
riamdwyn hastened in four hosts 
Godeu and Eeged to overwhelm. 
They extended from Argoed to Arvynyd. 
They retained not life during one day. 
Tlamdwyn called out again, of great impetuosity, 
Will they give hostages ? are they ready ? 
Owain answered, Let the gashing appear, 
10 They will not give, they are not, they are not ready. 
And Ceneu, son of Coel, would be an irritated lion 
Before he would give a hostage to any one. 


Urien called out again, the lord of the cultivated region, 
If there be a meeting for kindred, 
Let us raise a banner above the mountain, 
And advance our persons over the border. 
And let us raise our spears over the heads of men, 
And rush upon Flamdwyn in his army. 
And slaughter with him and his followers. 
20 And because of the affair of Argoed Llwyfain, 
There was many a corpse. 
The ravens were red from the warring of men. 
And the common people hurried with the tidings. 
And I will divine the year that I am not increasing. 
And until I fail in old age. 
In the sore necessity of death, 
May I not be smiling. 
If I praise not Urien. 


The Death-song of Owain. 
book of taliessin xliv. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 199. Notes, vol. ii. p. 417. 

Jp^llIE soul of Owain son of Urien. May its Lord consider 

its need. 
The chief of Eeged, the heavy sward conceals him. His 

knowledge was not shallow. 
A low cell (contains) the renowned protector of bards, the 

wings of dawn were the flowing of his lances. 
For there will not be found a match for the chief of the 

glittering west. 
The reaper of the tenacious foes. The offspring of his father 

and grandfather. 
When Flamdwyn kiUed Owain, there was not one greater 

than he sleeping. 


A wide number of Lloegyr went to sleep with light in 

their eyes. 
And those that fled not instantly were beyond necessity. 
Owain valiantly chastised them, like a pack (of wolves) 

pursuing sheep. 
10 A worthy man, upon his many-coloured trappings, he 

would give horses to those that asked. 
While he hoarded hard money, it was not shared for 

his soul. 
The soul of Owain, son of Urien. 





Text, vol. ii. p. 3. Notes, vol. ii. p. 320. 

I ^]^.0W sad with me, how sad ! 
Have Cedwyv and Cadvan perished ? 
Glaring and tumultuous was the slaughter ; 
Perforated was the shield from Trywruyd. 


II. It was Maelgwn that I saw combating, 

His household before the tumult of the host is not 


III. Before two men in Nevtur will they land. 
Before Errith and Gurrith on a pale white horse. 
The slender bay they wUl undoubtedly bear away. 
Soon will his retinue be seen with Elgan. 

Alas for his death ! a great journey they came. 


IV. Eys, the one-toothed, a span was his shield ; 
Even to thee has complete prosperity come. 

Cyndur has been slain ; beyond measure they deplore ; 
Men that were generous while they lived have been 

slain ; 
Three men of note, whose esteem was great with Elgan. 




V. Through and through, in excess and excess they came, 
From yonder and yonder there came to me Bran and 

Melgan ; 
Slay, in their last conflict, Diwel 
The son of Erbin, and his men, they did. 


VI. The host of Maelgwn, it was fortunate that they came — 
Slaughtering men of battle, penetrating the gory plain, 
Even the action of Ardderyd, when there will be a 

Continually for the hero they will prepare. 


VII. A host of flying darts, reeking will be the gory plain ; 
A host of warriors, vigorous and active will they be ; 
A host, when wounds will be given, a host, when flight 

will take place, 
A host, when they will return to the combat. 


viiL The seven sons of Eliffer, seven heroes when put to 
They will not avoid seven spears in their seven 


IX. Seven blazing fires, seven opposing armies. 
The seventh C3aivelyn in every foremost place. 


X. Seven thrusting spears, seven rivers-ful 
Of the blood of chieftains will they fill. 
2 B 



XI. Seven score generous ones have gone to the shades ; 
In the wood of Celyddon they came to their end. 

Since I, Myrdin, am next after Taliessin, 
Let my prediction become common. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 18. Notes, vol. ii. p. 335. 

I. J^» WrEET appletree of delightful branches, 

Budding luxuriantly, and shooting forth renowned scions, 

I will predict before the owner of Machreu, 

That in the valley of Machawy on Wednesday there will 

be blood, — 
Joy to Lloegyr of the blood-red blades. 
Hear, little pig ! there will come on Thursday 
Joy to the Cymry of mighty battles, 
In their defence of Cymminawd, with their incessant 

On the Saxons there will be a slaughter with ashen 

And their heads will be used as balls to play with. 
I prophesy truth without disguise, — 
The elevation of a child in a secluded part of the South. 

II. Sweet appletree, a green tree of luxurious growth, 
How large are its branches, and beautiful its form ! 
And I will predict a battle that will make me shriek 
At Pengwem, in the sovereign feast, mead is appropriate.* 

* The following lines are added at the bottom of the page : — 

And around Cymminawd, a deadly hewing down 
By a chief of Eryri — hatred will remain. 


III. Sweet appletree, and a yellow tree, 

Grow at Tal Ardd, without a garden surrounding it ; 

And I will predict a battle in Prydyn, 

In defence of their frontier against the men of Dublin ; 

Seven sliips will come over the wide lake, 

And seven hundred over the sea to conquer. 

Of those that come, none will go to Cennyn, 

Except seven half-empty ones, according to the prediction. 

IV. Sweet appletree that luxuriantly grows ! 

Food I used to take at its base to please a fair maid, 
When, with my shield on my shoulder, and my sword on 

my thigh, 
I slept all alone in the woods of Celyddon. 
Hear, O little pig ! now apply thyself to reason, 
And listen to birds whose notes are pleasant, 
Sovereigns across the sea will come on Monday ; 
Blessed wiU the Cymry be, from that design. 

v. Sweet appletree that grows in the glade ! 

Their vehemence will conceal it from the lords of 

Trodden it is around its base, and men are about it. 
Terrible to them were heroic forms. 
Gwendydd loves me not, greets me not ; 
I am hated by the firmest minister of Eydderch ; 
I have ruined his son and his daughter. 
Death takes all away, why does he not visit me ? 
For after Gwenddoleu no princes honour me ; 
I am not soothed with diversion, I am not visited by the 

fair ; 
Yet in the battle of Ardderyd golden was my torques. 
Though I am now despised by her who is of the colour 

of swans. 


VI. Sweet appletree of delicate bloom, 

That grows in concealment in tlie woods ! 

At break of day the tale was told me. 

That the firmest minister is offended at my creed, 

Twice, thrice, four times, in one day. 

Jesus ! would that my end had come 

Before the death of the son of Gwendydd liappeu on my 
hand ! 

VII. Sweet appletree, which grows by the river-side ! 

With respect to it, the keeper will not thrive on its 

splendid fruit. 
While my reason was not aberrant, I used to be around 

its stem 
With a fair sportive maid, a paragon of slender form. 
Ten years and forty, as the toy of lawless ones, 
Have I been wandering in gloom and among sprites. 
After wealth in abundance and entertaining minstrels, 

1 have been (here so long that) it is useless for gloom 

and sprites to lead me astray. 
I will not sleep, but tremble on account of my leader, 
My lord Gwenddoleu, and those who are natives of my 

After suffering disease and longing grief about the words 

of Celyddon, 
May I become a blessed servant of the Sovereign of 

splendid retinues ! 

VIII. Sweet appletree of delicate blossoms, 
Which grows in the soil amid the trees ! 
The Sibyl foretells a tale that will come to pass — 
A golden rod of great value, will, for bravery, 
Be given to glorious chiefs before the dragons ; 
The diffuser of grace will vanquish the profane man. 


Before the child, bold as the sun in his courses, 
Saxons shall be eradicated, and bards shall flourish. 

IX. Sweet appletree, and a tree of crimson hue, 

Which grow in concealment in the wood of Celyddon ; 

Though sought for their fruit, it will be in vain. 

Until Cadwaladyr comes from the conference of Cadvaon, 

To the Eagle of Tywi and Teiwi rivers ; 

And until fierce anguish comes from Aranwynion, 

And the wild and long-haired ones are made tame : 

X. Sweet appletree, and a tree of crimson hue. 

Which grow in concealment in the wood of Celyddon ; 

Though sought for their fruit, it will be in vain, 

Until Cadwaladyr comes from the conference of Khyd 

And Cynan to meet him advances upon the Saxons ; 
The Cymry will be victorious, glorious will be their leader. 
All shall have their rights, and the Brython will rejoice, 
Sounding the horns of gladness, and chanting the song 

of peace and happiness ! 




Text, vol. ii. p. 62. Notes, vol. ii. p. 359. 

This is the Gododin. Aneurin composed it. 

I. (St^Y manly disposition was the youth. 
Valour had he in the tumult ; 
Fleet thick-maned chargers 
Were under the thigh of the illustrious youtli ; 
A shield, light and broad. 
Was on the slender swift flank, 
A sword, blue and bright, 
Golden spurs, and ermine. 
It is not by me 

That hatred shall be shown to thee ; 
I will do better towards thee, 
To celebrate thee in poetic eulogy. 
Sooner hadst thou gone to the bloody bier 
Than to the nuptial feast ; 
Sooner hadst thou gone to be food for ravens 
Than to the conflict of spears ; 
Thou beloved friend of Owain ! 
Wrong it is that he should be under ravens. 
It is evident in what region 
The only son of Marro was killed. 

II. Caeawg, the leader, wherever he came. 

Breathless in the presence of a maid would he 
distribute the mead ; 


Hie front of his shield was pierced, when he heard 

The shout, of battle, he wouki give no quarter wherever 

he pursued ; 
He would not retreat from the combat, until he caused 
Blood to stream ; like rushes would he hew down the men 

who would not yield. 
The Gododin does not relate, in the land of Mordai, 
Before the tents of Madawg, when he returned, 
Of but one man in a hundred that came back. 

III. Caeawg, the combatant, the stay of his country, 

Wliose attack is like the rush of the eagle into the sea, 

when allured by his prey ; 
He formed a compact, his signal was observed ; 
Better was his resolution performed : he retreated not 
Before the host of Gododin, at the close of day. 
With confidence he pressed upon the conflict of Manawyd ; 
And regarded neither spear nor shield. 
There is not to be found a habitation that abounded in 

That has been kept from the attack of the warriors. 

IV. Caeawg, the leader, the woK of the strand, 
Amber wreaths encircled his brow ; 

Precious was the amber, worth wine from the horn. 

He repelled the violence of ignoble men, and blood trickled 

For Gwynedd and the North would have come to his share, 
By the advice of the son of Ysgyrran, 
Who wore the broken shield. 

v. Caeawg, the leader, armed was he in the noisy conflict ; 
His was the foremost part of the advanced division, in 
front of the hosts. 


Before his blades fell five battalions. 

Of the men of Deivyr and Brenneich, uttering groans : 

Twenty hundred perished in one hour. 

Sooner did his flesh go to the woK, than he to the 

nuptial feast ; 
He sooner became food for the raven, than approached 

the altar ; 
Before he entered the conflict of spears, his blood 

streamed to the ground. 
It was the price of mead in the hall, amidst the throng. 
Hyveidd Hir shall be celebi-ated as long as there will 

be a minstrel 

VI. The men went to Gododin with laughter and spright- 
Bitter were they in the battle, displaying their blades ; 
A short year they remained in peace. 
The son of Bodgad, by the energy of his hand, caused 

a throbbing. 
Though they went to churches to do penance, 
The old, and the young, and the bold-handed, 
The inevitable strife of death was to pierce them. 

VII. The men went to Gododin, laughing as they moved : 
A gloomy disaster befell their army ; 
Thou slayest them with blades, without much noise : 
Thou, powerful pillar of living right, causest stillness. 

VIII. The men went to Catraeth, loquacious was their host ; 
Fresh mead was their feast, and also their poison. 
Three hundred were contending with weapons ; 
And after sportive mirth, stillness ensued ! 
Though they went to churches to do penance, 
The inevitable strife of death was to pierce them. 


IX. The men went to Catraeth, fed with mead, and drunk. 
Firm and vigorous; it were wrong if I neglected to 

praise them. 
Around the red, mighty, and murky blades 
Obstinately and fiercely fought the dogs of war. 
If I had judged you to be on the side of the tribe of 

Not the phantom of a man would I have left alive. 
A friend I have lost, myself being unhurt ; 
He openly opposed the terrible chief — 
The magnanimous hero did not seek the dowry of his 

father-in-law ; 
The son of Cian of Maen Gwyngwn. 

X. The men went to Catraeth with the dawn ; 

They dealt peaceably with those who feared them. 

A hundred thousand and three hundred engaged in 

mutual overthrow. 
Drenched in gore they served as butts for lances ; 
Their post they most manfully defended 
Before the retinue of Mynyddawg Mwynvawr. 

XI. The men went to Catraeth with the dawn ; 

Kegretted are their absence and their disposition ; 

Mead they drank, yellow, sweet, ensnaring. 

In that year many a minstrel fell. 

Redder were their swords than their plumes. 

Their blades were white as lime, their helmets split 

into four parts. 
Before the retinue of Mynyddawg Mwynvawr. 

XII. The men went to Catraeth with the day : 
Have not the best of battles their disgrace ? 
They made biers a matter of necessity. 
With blades full of vigour in defence of Baptism. 


This is best before the alliance of kindi'ed. 
Exceedingly great was the bloodshed and death, of which 

they were the cause. 
Before the army of Gododin, when the day occurred. 
Is not a double quantity of discretion the best 

strengthener of a hero ? 

XIII. The man went to Catraeth with the day : 

Truly he quaffed the foaming mead on serene nights ; 

He was unlucky, though proverbially fortunate : 

His mission, through ambition, was that of a destroyer. 

There hastened not to Catraeth 

A chief so magnificent 

As to his design on the standard. 

Never was there such a host 

From the fort of Eiddyn, 

That would scatter abroad the mounted ravagers. 

Tudvwlch Hir, near his land and towns, 

Slaughtered the Saxons for seven days. 

His valour remained until he was overpowered ; 

And his memory will remain among his fair associates. 

When Tudvwlch, the supporter of the land, arrived. 

The station of the son of Cilydd became a plain of blood. 

XIV. The man went to Catraeth with the dawn ; 
To them were their shields a protection. 
Blood they sought, the gleamers assembled : 
Simultaneously, like thunder, arose the din of shields. 
The man of envy, the deserter, and the base. 

He would tear and pierce with pikes. 

From an elevated position, he slew, with a blade. 

In iron affliction, a steel-clad commander; 

He subdued in Mordai those that owed him homage ; 

Before Erthgi armies groaned- 


XV, Of the battle of Catraeth, when it shall be related, 

The people will utter sighs ; long has been their sorrow. 
There will be a dominion without a sovereign, and a 

murky land. 
The sons of Godebawg, an upright clan, 
Bore, streaming, long biers. 
Sad was the fate, just the necessity, 
Decreed to Tudvwlch and Cyvwlch Hir. 
Together they drank the clear mead 
By the light of the rushes, 
Though pleasant to the taste, its banefulness lasted long. 

XVI, Before Echeching, the splendid Caer, he shouted : 
Young and forward men followed him ; 
Before, on the Bludwe the horn was poured out 
In the joyful Mordai ; 
Before, his drink would be bragget ; 
Before, gold and rich purple he would display ; 
Before, high-fed horses would bear him safe away ; 
Gwrthlev and he, when he poured out the liquor. 
Before, he would raise the shout, and there would be a 

profitable diminution ; 
He was a bear in his march, always unwilling to skulk. 

XVII. "And now the early leader. 
The sun is ascending. 

The sovereign from which emanates universal light. 
In the heaven of the Isle of Prydain. 
Direful was the flight before the shaking 
Of the shield in the direction of the victor ; 
Bright was the horn 
In the hall of Eiddyn ; 
With pomp was he invited 


To the feast of the intoxicating mead j 

He drank the beverage of wine 

At the meeting of the reapers ; 

He drank transparent wine, 

With a daring purpose. 

The reapers sing of war, 

War with the shining wing ; 

The minstrels sang of war, 

Of harnessed war, 

Of winged war. 

No shield was unexpanded 

In the conflict of spears ; 

Of equal eye they fell 

In the struggle of battle. 

Unshaken in the tumult. 

Without dishonour did he retaliate ; 

His will had to be conciliated 

Ere became a green sward 

The grave of Gwrvelling the great. 

XVIII. Qualities they wiU honour. 

Three forward (chiefs or bands) of Novant, 

A battalion of five hundred ; 

Three chiefs and three hundred ; 

There are three Knights of battle. 

From Eiddyn, arrayed in golden armour, 

Three loricated hosts. 

Three Kings wearing the golden torques ; 

Three bold Knights. 

Three equal battles ; 

Three of the same order, mutually jealous. 

Bitterly would they chase the foe ; 

Three dreadful in the conflict ; 

Lions, that would kill dead as lead. 


There was in the war a collection of gold ; 

Three sovereigns of the people. 

Came from the Brython, 

Cynri and Cenon 

And Cynrain from Aeron, 

To greet with ashen lances. 

The Deivyr distillers. 

Came there from the Brython, 

A better man than Cynon, 

A serpent to his sullen foes? 

XIX. I drank mead and wine in Mordai, 
Great was the quantity of spears 
In the assembly of the warriors. 
He prepared food for the eagle. 
When Cydywal sallied forth, he raised 
The shout with the green dawn, and dealt out tribulation ; 
Splintered shields about the ground he left. 
With darts of awful tearing did he hew down ; 
In the battle, the foremost in the van 
The son of Sy vno wounded ; the astronomer knew it. 
He who sold his life, 
In the face of warning, 
With sharpened blades committed slaughter ; 
But he himself was slain by crosses and spears. 
According to the compact, he meditated an attack, 
And admired a pile of carcases 
Of gallant men of toil, 
Whom in the upper part of Gwynedd he pierced. 

XX. I drank wine and mead in Mordai, 

And because I drank, I fell by the side of the rampart ; 

the fate of allurement. 
Colwedd the brave was not without ambition. 


When all fell, thou didst also fall. 

Thus, when the issue comes, it were well if thou hadst 

not sinned. 
Present, it was related, was a person of a daring arm. 

XXI. The men went to Catraeth ; they were renowned ; 
Wine and mead from golden cups was their beverage ; 
That year was to them of exalted solemnity ; 

Three warriors and three score and three hundred, 

wearing the golden torques. 
Of those who hurried forth after the excess of revelling, 
But three escaped by the prowess of the gashing sword. 
The two war-dogs of Aeron, and Cenon the dauntless, 
And myself from the spilling of my blood, the reward 

of my sacred song. 

XXII. My friend in real distress, we should have been by 

none disturbed. 
Had not the white Commander led forth (his army) : 
We should not have been separated in the hall from 

the banquet of mead. 
Had he not laid waste our convenient position. 
He who is base in the field, is base on the hearth. 
Truly the Gododin relates that after the gashing assault. 
There was none more ardent than Llivieu. 

XXIII. Scattered, broken, of motionless form, is the weapon, 

To which it was highly congenial to prostrate the horde 

of the Lloegi-ians. 
Shields were strewn in the entrance, shields in the battle 

of lances ; 
He reduced men to ashes. 
And made women widows, 
Before his death. 


Graid, the son of Hoewgi, 

With spears, 

He caused the effusion of blood. 

XXIV. Adan was the hero of the two shields 

Whose front was variegated, and motion like that of 

a war-steed. 
There was tumult in the mount of slaughter, there was 

Impetuous were the lances, there was sunshine, 
There was food for ravens, for the raven there was profit. 
And before he would let them go free, 
With the morning dew, like the eagle in his pleasant 

He scattered them on either side as they advanced 

The Bards of the world will pronounce an opinion on 

men of valour. 
No ransom would avail those whom his standard pursued. 
The spears in the hands of the warriors were causing 

And ere was interred under his horses. 
One who had been energetic in his commands, 
His blood had thoroughly washed his armour : 
Buddvan, the son of Bleiddvan the Bold. 

XXV. It were wrong to leave him without a memorial, a great 

He would not leave an open gap through cowardice ; 
The benefit of the minstrels of Prydain never quitted his 

On the calends of January, according to his design. 
His land was not ploughed, since it lay waste. 
He was a mighty dragon of indignant disposition, 


A commander in the bloody field after the banquet of 

wine ; — 
Gwenabwy, the son of Gwen, of the strife of Catraeth. 

XXVI. True it was, as songs relate, 

No one's steed overtook Marchleu. 

The lances of the commander 

From his prancing horse, strewed a thick path. 

As he was reared to bring slaughter and support. 

Furious was the stroke of his protecting sword ; 

Ashen shafts were scattered from the grasp of his hand. 

From the stony pile ; 

He delighted to spread destruction. 

He would slaughter with a variegated sword from a 

furze-bush ; 
As when a company of reapers comes in the interval of 

fine weather, 
Would Marchleu cause the blood to flow. 

XXVII. Issac was sent from the southern region ; 
His conduct resembled the flowing sea ; 
He was full of modesty and gentleness. 
When he delightfully drank the mead. 

But along the rampart of Offer to the point of Madden, 
He was not fierce without heroism, nor did he attempt 

scattering without effecting it, 
His sword resounded in the mouths of mothers ; 
He was an ardent spirit, praise be to him, the son of 


XXVIII. Ceredig, lovely is his fame ; 

He would gain distinction, and preserve it ; 
Gentle, lowly, calm, before the day arrived 
In which he learned the achievements of the brave : 


May it be the lot of the friend of songs to arrive 
In the country of heaven, and recognise his home ! 

XXIX. Ceredig, amiable leader, 

A wrestler in the impetuous fight ; 

His gold-bespangled shield was conspicuous on the 

His lances were broken, and shattered into splinters, 
The stroke of his sword was fierce and penetrating ; 
Like a man would he maintain his post. 
Before he received the affliction of earth, before the fatal 

He had fulfilled his in guarding his station. 
May he find a complete reception 
With the Trinity in perfect unity. 

XXX. When Caradawg rushed to battle, 

like the woodland boar was the gash of the hewer ; 

He was the bull of battle in the conflicting fight ; 

He allured wild dogs with his hand. 

My witnesses are Owain the son of Eulad, 

And Gwryen, and Gwyn, and Gwryad. 

From Catraeth, from the conflict. 

From Bryn Hydwn, before it was taken, 

After having clear mead in his hand, 

Gwrien did not see his father. 

XXXI. The men marched with speed, together they bounded 
onward ; 
Short-lived were they — having become drunk over the 

clarified mead. 
The retinue of Mynyddawg, renowned in a trial, 
Their life was the price of their banquet of mead ; — 
VOL. I. 2 c 


Caradawg and Madawg, Pyll and leuan, 
Gwgawn and Gwiawn, Gwyn and Cynvan, 
Peredur with steel arms, Gwaw^ddur and Aeddan. 
A defence were they in the tumult, though with 

shattered shields, 
When they were slain, they also slaughtered ; 
Not one to his native home returned. 

XXXII. The men marched with speed, together were they regaled 
That year over mead ; great was their design : 

How sad to mention them ! how grievous the longing 

for them ! 
Their retreat was poison ; no mother's son nurses them. 
How long the vexation and how long the regret for them — 
For the brave men of the wine-fed region ! 
Gwlyged of Gododin, having partaken of the inciting 
Banquet of Mynyddawg, performed illustrious deeds. 
And dear was the price he gave for the purchase of the 

conflict of Catraeth. 

XXXIII. The men went to Catraeth in battle-array and with 

shout of war, 
With the strength of steeds, and with dark-brown 

harness, and with shields. 
With uplifted javelins, and sharp lances. 
With glittering majl, and with swords. 
He excelled, he penetrated through the host, 
Five battalions fell before his blade ; 
Euvawn Hir, — he gave gold to the altar. 
And gifts and precious stones to the minstreL 

XXXIV. No hall was ever made so loquacious, — 
So great, so magnificent for the slaughter. 
Morien procured and spread the fire, 


He would not say that Cenon would not make a corpse 

Of one harnessed, armed witli a pike, and of wide- 
spread fame. 

His sword resounded on the top of the rampart. 

No more than a huge stone can be removed from its 
fixed place 

Will Gwid, the son of Peithan, be moved. 

XXXV. No hall was ever so full of delegates : 
Had not Moryen been like Caradawg, 
With difficulty could he have escaped towards 

Fierce, he was fiercer than the son of Fferawg ; 
Stout was his hand, he set flames to the retreating 

Terrible in the city was the cry of the multitude ; 
The van of the army of Gododin was scattered ; 
In the day of wrath he was nimble — and was he not 

destructive in retaliating ? 
The dependants of Mynyddawg deserved their horns 

of mead. 

XXXVI. No hall was ever made so inimovable 

As that of Cynon of the gentle breast, sovereign of 

valuable treasures. 
He sat no longer at the upper end of the high seat. 
Those whom he pierced were not pierced again ; 
Sharp was the point of his lance ; 
With his enamelled armour he penetrated through 

the troops ; 
Swift in the van were the horses, in tlie van they, tore 

In the day of wrath, destruction attended his blade, 
When Cynon rushed forward with the green dawn. 


XXXVII. A grievous descent was made on his native place ; 
He repelled aggression, he fixed a boundary ; 
His spear forcibly pushed the laughing chiefs of 

war : 
Even as far as Effyd reached his valour, which was like 

that of Elphin ; 
Eithinyn the renowned, an ardent spirit, the bull 
of conflict. 

xxxviii. A grievous descent was made on his native place. 

The price of mead in the hall, and the feast of 

wine ; 
His blades were scattered about between two armies, 
Illustrious was the knight in front of Gododin. 
Eithinyn the renowned, an ardent spirit, the bull of 


xxxix. A grievous descent was made in front of the 

extended riches ; 
The army dispersed with trailing shields. — 
A shivered shield before the herd of the roaring 

A dwarf from the bloody field hastened to the 

fence ; 
On our part there came a hoary-headed man to take 

On a prancing steed, bearing a message from the 

golden-torqued leader. 
Twrch proposed a compact in front of the destructive 

course : 
"Worthy was the shout of refusal ; 
We cried, " Let heaven be our protection ; 
Let his compact be that he should be prostrated by 

the spear in battle." 


The warriors of the far-famed Acliid 
Would not contend without prostrating his host 
to the ground. 

XL. For the piercing of the skilful and most learned man, 
For the fair corpse which fell prostrate on the ground, 
For the falling of the hair from off his head, 
From the grandson of the eagle of Gwydien, 
Did not Gwyddwg defend with his spear, 
Eesembling and honouring his master ? 
Morieu of the sacred song defended 
The wall, and deposed the head 
Of the chief in the ground, both our support and our 

Equal to three men, to please the maid, was Bradwen, 
Equal to twelve was Gwenabwy the son of Gwen. 

XLL For the piercing of the skilful and most learned man, 
He bore a shield in the action ; 
With energy did the stroke of his sword fall on the 

In Lloegyr he caused gashings before three hundred 

He who takes hold of a wolfs mane without a club 
In his hand, must naturally have a brave disposition 

under his cloak. 
In the engagement of wrath and carnage 
Bradwen perished — he did not escape. 

XLii. A man moved rapidly on the wall of the Caer, 

He was of a warlike disposition ; neither a house nor a 

city was actively engaged in battle. 
One weak man, with his shouts, 
Endeavoured to keep off the birds of battle. 


Surely Syll of Mirein relates that there were more 

That had chanced to come from Ilwy, 

From around the inlet of the flood ; 

Surely he relates that there were more 

At an early hour, 

Equal to Cynhaval in merit. 

XLiii. When thou, famous conqueror ! 

Wast protecting the ear of corn in the uplands 
Deservedly were we said to run like men of mark. 
The entrance to Din Drei was not guarded. 
Such as was fond of treasure took it ; 
There was a city for the army that should venture to 

Gwynwyd was not called, where he was not. 

XLiv. Since there are a hundred men in one house, 
I know the cares of distress. 
The chief of the men must pay the contribution. ' 

XLV. I am not headstrong and petulant. 

I will not avenge myself on him who drives me. 

I will not laugh in derision. 

Under foot for a while. 

My knee is stretched, 

My hands are bound, 

In the earthen house, 

With an iron chain 

Around my two knees. 

Yet of the mead from the horn. 

And of the men of Catraeth, 

I, Aneurin, will compose. 

As Taliesin knows, 

An elaborate ^ong, 


Or a strain to Gododin, 

Before the dawn of the brightest day. 

XLVI. The chief exploit of the North did the hero accomplish ; 
Of a generous breast was he, liberal is his progeny ; 
There does not walk upon the earth, mother has not 

Such an illustrious, powerful, iron-clad warrior. 
By the force of the gleaming sword he protected me, 
From the dismal earthen prison he brought me out, 
From the place of death, from a hostile region : — 
Ceneu, the son of Llywarch, energetic, bold. 

XLVii. He would not bear the reproach of a congress, 
Senyllt, with his vessels full of mead ; 
He enriched his sword with deeds of violence ; 
He enriched those who rushed to war ; 
And with his arm made pools (of blood). 
In front of the armies of Gododin and Brennych. 
Fleet horses were customary in his halL 
There was streaming gore, and dark-brown harness. 
A long stream of light there was from his hand. 
And like a hunter shooting with the bow 
Was Gwen ; and the attacking parties mutually 

repulsed each other. 
Friend and foe by turns ; 
The men did not cut their way to flee, 
But they were the general defenders of every region. 

XLvm. Ilecli Lleutu and Tud Lleudvre, 
The course of Gododin, 
The course of Eagno, close at hand. 
The hand that was director of the splendour of 


With the branch of Caerwys. 

Before it was shattered 

By the season of the storm, by the storm of the season, 

To form a rank in front of myriads of men, 

Coming from Dindywydd, 

Excited with rage, 

Deeply did they design, 

Sharply did they pierce, 

Wholly did the host chant, 

Battered was their shield ; 

Before the bull of conflict 

Their van was broken. 

XLix. His languid foes trembled greatly, 

Since the battle of most active tumult. 

At the border of Banceirw, 

Around the border of Bancarw ; 

The fingers of Brych will break the bar. 

For Pwyll, for Disteir, for Distar, 

For Pwyll, for Eoddig, for Eychwardd, 

A strong bow was spent by Eys in Riwdrech. 

They that were not bold did not attain their purpose ; 

ITone escaped that was once overtaken and pierced. . 

L. It was no good deed that his shield should be pierced. 
On the side of his horse ; 
Not meetly did he place his thigh 
On the long-legged, slender, gray charger. 
Dark was his shaft, dark. 
Darker was his saddle. 
Thy man is in his cell. 
Gnawing the shoulder of a buck ; 
May he have the benefit of his hand 1 
Far be he ! 


LI. It was well that Adonwy came to Gwen ; 
Gweu was left without Bradwen. 
Thou didst fight, kill, and burn, 
Thou didst not do worse than Moryen ; 
Thou didst not regard the rear or the van. 
Of the towering figure without a helmet. 
Thou didst not observe the great swelling sea of 

That would hew down, and grant no quarter to the 


LIT. Gododin, in respect of thee will I demand 
The dales beyond the ridges of Drum Essyd. 
The slave to the love of money is without self-control. 
By the counsel of thy son let thy valour shine forth. 
It was not a degrading advice. 
In front of Tan Veithin, 
From twilight to twilight, the edge gleamed. 
Glittering exterior had the purple of the pilgrim. 
Gwaws, the defenceless, the delight of the bulwark of 

battle, was slain. 
His scream was inseparable from Aneurin. 

LIU. Together arise the associated warriors. 

To Catraeth the loquacious multitude eagerly march ; 
The effect of mead in the hall, and the beverage of wine. 
Blades were scattered between the two armies. 
Illustrious was the knight in front of Gododin : — 
Eithinyn the renowned, an ardent spirit, the bull of 

Liv, Together arise the associated warriors, 

Strangers to the country, their deeds shall be heard of. 
, The bright wave murnmred along on its pilgrimage, 


While the young deer were in full melody. 

Among the spears of Brych thou couldst see no rods. 

Merit does not accord with the rear. 

Moryal in pursuit will not countenance evil deeds. 

With his steel blade ready for the effusion of blood. 

LV. Together arise the associated warriors. 

Strangers to the country, their deeds shall be heard of. 

There was slaughtering with axes and blades, 

And there was raising large cairns over the men of toil. 

LVi. Together arise the warriors, together met, 
And. all with one accord sallied forth ; 
Short were their lives, long is the grief of those who 

loved them. 
Seven times their number of Lloegrians they had slain ; 
After the conflict women raised a lamentation ; 
Many a mother has the tear on her eyelash. 

LVii, No hall was ever made so faultless 

Nor a hero so generous, with the aspect of a lion of the 

greatest course, 
As Cynon of the gentle breast, the most comely lord. 
The city, its fame extends to the remotest parts ; 
It was the staying shelter of the army, the benefit of 

flowing melody. 
In the world, engaged in arms, the battle-cry, 
And w^ar, the most heroic was he ; 
He slew the mounted ravagers with the sharpest 

blade ; 
Like rushes did they fall before his hand. 
Son of Clydno, of lasting fame ! I will sing 
To thee a song of praise without limit, without end. 


LViii. From the banquet of wine and mead 
They deplored the death 
Of the mother of Hwrreith. 
The energetic Eidiol. 
Honoured her in front of the hill, 
And before Buddugre, 
The hovering ravens 
Ascend in the sky. 
The foremost spearmen fall 
Like a virgin-swarm around him 
Without the semblance of a retreat 
Warriors in wonder shook their javelins, 
With pallid lips, 

Caused by the keenness of the destructive sword. 
Wakeful was the carousal at the beginning of the 

banquet ; 
To-day sleepless is 
The mother of Eeiddun, the leader of the tumult. 

Lix. From the banquet of wine and mead 
They went to the strife 
Of mail-clad warriors : I know no tale of slaughter 

which accords 
So complete a destruction as has happened. 
Before Catraeth, loquacious was the host. 
Of the retinue of Mynyddawg, the unfortunate hero, 
Out of three hundred but one man returned. 

LX. From the banquet of wine and mead they hastened, 
Men renowned in difficulty, careless of their lives ; 
In bright array around the viands they feasted together ; 
Wine and mead and meal they enjoyed. 
From the retinue of Mynyddawg I am being ruined ; 
And I have lost a leader from among my true friends. 


Of the body of three hundred men that hastened to 
Catraeth, alas ! none have returned but one alone. 

LXI. Pressent, in the combat of spears, was impetuous as a 

And on his horse would he be, when not at home ; 
Yet illusive was his aid against Gododin. 
Of wine and mead he was lavish ; 
He perished on the course ; 
And under red-stained warriors 
Are the steeds of the knight, who in the morning had 

been bold. 

LXII. Angor, thou who scatterest the brave, 

Like a serpent thou piercest the sullen ones. 

Thou tramplest upon those that are clad in strong mail 

In front of the army : 

Like an enraged bear, guarding and assaulting, 

Thou tramplest upon spears. 

In the day of conflicts 

In the swampy entrenchment : 

Like Neddig Nar, 

Who in his fury prepared 

A feast for the birds, 

In the tumultuous fight 

Upright thou art called from thy righteous deed. 

Before the director and bulwark of the course of war, 

Merin, and Madyen, it is fortunate that thou wert born. 

LXiii. It is incumbent to sing of the complete acquisition 

Of the warriors, who aroimd Catraeth made a tumult- 
uous rout. 
With confusion and blood, treading and trampling. 
The strength of the drinking horn was trodden down, 
because it had held mead ; 


And. as to the carnage of the interposers 

Cibno does not relate, after the commencement of the 

Since thou hast received the communion thou shalt 

be interred. 

Lxrv. It is incumbent to sing of so much renown, 

The loud noise of fire, and of thunder, and of tempest, 

The noble manliness of the knight of conflict. 

The ruddy reapers of war are thy desire, 

Thou man of might! but the worthless wilt thou 

In battle the extent of the land shall hear of thee. 
With thy shield upon thy shoulder thou dost 

incessantly cleave 
With thy blade (until blood flows) like refined wine 

from glass vessels. 
As money for drink, thou art entitled to gold. 
Wine-nourished was Gwaednerth, the son of Llywri. 

LXV. It is incumbent to sing of the illustrious retinue. 
That, after the fatal impulse, filled Aeron. 
Their hands satisfied the mouths of the brown eagles. 
And prepared food for the beasts of prey. 
Of those who went to Catraeth, wearing the golden 

Upon the message of Mynyddawg, sovereign of the 

There came not without reproach on behalf of the 

To Gododin, a man from afar better than Cynon. 

LXVi. It is incumbent to sing of so skilful a man ; 

Joyous was he in the hall ; his life was not without 
ambition ; 


Bold, all around the world would Eidol seek for 

melody ; 
For gold, and fine horses, and intoxicating mead. 
Only one man of those who loved the world returned, — 
Cynddilig of Aeron, the grandson of Enovant. 

Lxvn. It is incumbent to sing of the iQustrious retinue 

That went on the message of Mynyddawg, sovereign 

of the people, 
And the daughter of Eudav Hir, the scourge of 

Who was appareled in purple robes, certain to cause 


Lxvni, The warriors celebrated the praise of Nyved, 
When in their presence fire was lighted. 
On Tuesday, they put on their dark-brown gannents ; 
On Wednesday, they polished their enamelled armour ; 
On Thursday, their destruction was certain ; 
On Friday, was brought carnage all around : 
On Saturday, their joint labour did no execution ; 
On Sunday, their blades assumed a ruddy hue ; 
On Monday, was seen a pool knee-deep of blood. 
Truly, the Gododin relates that, after the toil. 
Before the tents of Madawg, when he returned, 
Only one man in a hundred came back, 

LXix. Early rising in the mom 

There was a conflict at the Aber in front of the course, 

The pass and the knoll were in conflagration. 

Like a boar didst thou lead to the mount, 

There was treasure for him that was fond of it ; there 

was room ; 
And there was the blood of dark-brown hawks. 


Lxx. Early rising in an instant of time, 

After kindling a fire at the Aber in front of the fence, 

After leading his men in close array. 

In front of a hundred he pierced the foremost. 

It was sad that you should have caused a gushing of 

like the drinking of mead in the midst of laughter. 
It was brave of you to stay the little man 
With the fierce and impetuous stroke of the sword. 
How irresistible was he when he would kill 
The foe ! would that his equal could be found ! 

Lxxi. He fell headlong down the precipice ; 
Song did not support his noble head : 
It was a violation of privilege to kiU him when bearing 

the branch, 
It was the usage that Owain should ascend upon the 

And extend, before the onset, the best branch, 
And that he should pursue the study of meet and 

learned strains. 
An excellent man was he, the assuager of tumult and 

His grasp dreaded a sword ; 
In his hand he bore an empty corselet. 
O sovereign, dispense rewards 
Out of his precious shrine. 
Eidol, with frigid blood and pallid countenance, 
Spreading carnage, his judgment was just and supreme, 
Owner of horses 
And strong trappings. 
And ice-like shields ; 
Instantaneously he makes an onset, ascending and 



Lxxii. The leader of war with eagerness conducts the battle, 
A mighty country loves mighty reapers. 
Blood is a heavy return for new mead. 
His cheeks are covered with armour all around, 
There is a trampling of accoutrements — accoutrements 

are trampled. 
He calls for death and brings desolation. 
In the first onset his lances penetrate the targets, 
And for light on the course, shrubs blaze on the spears. 

Lxxiii. A conflict on all sides destroyed thy cell ; 

And a hall there was to thee, where used to be 

poured out 
Mead, sweet and ensnaring. 
Gwrys make the battle clash with the dawn ; 
The fair gift of the tribes of the Lloegrians ; 
Punishment he inflicted until a reverse came. 
May the dependants of Gwynedd hear of his renown. 
Gwananhon will be his grava 
The lance of the conflict of Gwynedd, 
The bull of the host, the oppressor of sovereigns, 
Before earth pressed upon him, before he lay down ; 
Be the extreme boundary of Gododin his grave ! 

LXXIV. An army is accustomed to be in hardships. 

Mynawg, the bitter-handed leader of the forces. 

He was wise, ardent, and stately : 

At the social banquet he was not at all harsh. 

They removed the valuable treasures that were in 

his possession : 
And not the image of anything for the benefit of the 

region was left. 
We are called! Like the sea is the tumult in the 
conflict ; 


Spears are mutually darting — spears all equally 

destructive ; 
Impelled are sharp weapons of iron, gashing even 

the ground. 
And with a clang the sock falls on the pate. 
A successful warrior was Fflamddur against the 


Lxxv. He supported war-horses and war-harness. 
Drenched with gore on red-stained Catraeth 
Is the shaft of the army of Dinus, 
The angry dog of war upon the towering hill. 
We are called to the honourable post of assault ; 
Most conspicuous is the iron-clad Heiddyn. 

Lxxvi. Mynawg of the impregnable strand of Gododin, 
Mynawg, for him our cheeks are sad : 
Before the raging flame of Eiddyn he turned not aside. 
He stationed men of firmness at the entrance, 
He placed a thick covering in the van. 
Vigorously he descended upon the furious foe ; 
He caused devastation and sustained great weight. 
Of the retinue of Mynyddawg there escaped none 
Except one frail weapon, tottering every way. 

LXXV] I. Since the loss of Moryed there was no shield-bearer, 
To support the strand, or to set the ground on fire ; 
Firmly did he grasp in his hand a blue blade, 
A shaft ponderous as a chief priest's crozier ; 
He rode a gray stately-headed courser, 
And behind his blade there was a dreadful fall of 

slaughter ; 
When overpowered, he did not run away from the 

VOL. T. 2d 


He poured out to us sparkling mead, sweet and 

Lxxviii. I beheld the array from the high land of Adoyn ; 

They descended with the sacrifice for the conflagra- 

I saw what was usual, a continual running to the 

And the men of Nwythyon entirely lost ; 

I saw men in complete order approaching with a 
shout ; 

And the heads of Dyvynwal and Breych, ravens 
devoured them. 

Lxxix. Blessed conqueror, of temper mild, the bone of the 

With his blue streamer displayed, while the foes 

range the sea. 
Brave is he on the waters, most numerous his host ; 
• With a bold breast and loud shout they pierced him. 

It was his custom to make a descent before nine 

In the face of blood, of the country, and of the tribes. 
I love the victor's throne which was for harmonious 

CynddiL'g of Aeron, the lion's whelp ! 

Lxxx. I could wish to have been the first to fall in Catraeth, 
As the price of mead in the hall, and the beverage 

of wine ;. 
I could wish to have been pierced by the blade, 
Ere he was slain on the green plain of Uflfin. 
I loved the son of renown, who caused blood to flow, 
And made his sword descend upon the violent. 


Can a tale of valour before Gododin be related, 
In which the son of Ceidiaw has not his fame as a 
man of war ? 

Lxxxi. It is sad for me, after our toil, 

To suffer the pang of death through indiscretion ; 

And doubly grievous and sad for me to see 

Our men falling from head to foot. 

With a long sigh and with reproaches. 

After the strenuous warriors of our native land and 

Euvawn and Gwgawn, Gwiawn and Gwlyged, 
Men most gallant at their posts, valiant in difl&culties, 
May their souls, now after the conflict, 
Be received into the countiy of heaven, the abode of 


Lxxxil. He repelled the chain through a pool of blood, 

He slaughtered like a hero such as asked no quarter. 
With a sling and a spear ; he flung off his glass 

Of mead ; in the presence of sovereigns he overthrew 

an army. 
His counsel prevailed wherever he spoke. 
A multitude that had no pity would not be allowed 
Before the onset of his battle-axes and sword ; 
Sharpened they were ; and his sounding blade was 

carefully watched. 

Lxxxiii. A supply of an army, 
A supply of lances, 
And a host in the vanguard, 
With a menacing front : 
In the day of strenuous exertion. 


In the eager conflict, 
They displayed their valour. 
After intoxication, 
And the drinking of mead, 
There was no deliverance. 
They watched us , 

For a while ; 

When it shall be related how the attack 
Of horses and men was repelled, it will be pronounced 
the decree of fate. 

i.xxxiv. Why should so much anxiety come to me ? 
I am anxious about the maid — 
The maid that is in Arddeg. 
There is a precipitate running. 
And lamentation along the course. 
Affectionately have I deplored, 
Deeply have I loved, 
The illustrious dweller of the wood ! 
And the men of Argoed. 
Woe to those who are accustomed 
To be marshalled for battle ! 
He pressed hard upon the hostile force, for the 

benefit of chieftains, 
Through rough woods. 
And dammed-up waters, 
To the festivities. 
At which they caroused together : he conducted us 

to a bright fire. 
And to a wliite and fresh hide. 
Gereint from the south raised a shout ; 
A brilliant gleam reflected on the pierced shield. 
Of the lord of the spear, a gentle lord ; 
Attached to the glory of the sea. 



Posterity will accomplish 
What Gereint would have done. 
Generous and resolute wert thou ! 

Lxxxv. Instantaneously his fame is wafted on high, 
Irresistible was Angor in the conflict, 
Unflinching eagle of the forward heroes ; 
He bore the toil, brilliant was his zeal ; 
He outstripped fleetest horses in war ; 
But he was mild when the wine from the goblet 

Before the new^ mead, and his cheek became pale, 
He was a man of the banquet over delicious mead 

from the bowl. 

Lxxxvi. With slaughter was every region filled ; 
His courage was like a fetter : 
The front of his shield was pierced. 
Disagreeable is the delay of the wrathful 
To defend Eywoniawg. 
The second time they raised the shout, and were 

By the war-horses with gory trappings. 
An immovable army will his warlike nobles form. 
And the field was reddened when he was greatly 

Severe in the conflict, with a blade he slaughtered ; 
Sad news from the battle he brought ; 
And a New-year's song he composed. 
Adan, the son of Ervai, there was pierced, 
Adan ! the haughty boar, was pierced, 
One damsel, a maid, and a hero. 
And when he was only a youth he had the rights of 

a king. 


Being lord of Gwyiidyd, of the blood of Glyd 

Ere the turf was laid ou the gentle face 
Of the generous dead, now undisturbed, 
He was celebrated for fame and generosity. 
This is the grave of Garthwys Hir from the land of 


Lxxxvii. The coat of Dinogad was of various colours, 

And made of the speckled skins of young wolves. 

"Whistle ! whistle !" the juggling sound ! 

1 fain would dispraise it ; it is dispraised by eight 

When thy father went out to hunt, 
With his pole on his shoulder, and his provisions in 

his hand. 
He would call to his dogs of equal size, — 
" Catch it ! catch it ! seize it ! seize it !" 
He would kill a fish in his coracle, 
As a noble lion kills (his prey). 
When thy father went up to the mountain 
He would bring back the head of a roebuck, the 

head of a wild boar, the head of a stag. 
The head of a spotted moor-hen from the mountain, 
The head of a fish from the falls of Derwennyd. 
As many as thy father could reach with his flesh-hook, 
Of wild boars, lions, and foxes. 
None would escape except those that were too nimble. 

Lxxxviii. If distress were to happen to me through extortion, 
There would not come, there would not be to me 

anything more calamitous. 
No man has been nursed in a hall who could be 



Than he, or steadier in battle. 

And on the ford of Penclwyd his horses were the 

best ; 
Far-spread was his fame, compact his armour ; 
And before the long grass covered him beneath the 

He, the only son of Ffervarch, poured out the horns 

of mead. 

Lxxxix. I saw the array from the headland of Adoyn, 
Carrying the sacrifice to the conflagration ; 
I saw the two who from their station quickly fell ; 
By the commands of Nwython greatly were they 

I saw the men, who made a great breach, with the 

dawn at Adoyn ; 
And the head of Dyvynwal Vrych, ravens devoured 


xc. Gododin, in respect of thee will I demand 

In the presence of a hundred that are named with 

deeds of valour. 
And of Gwarchan, the son of Dwywei of gallant 

Let it be forcibly seized in one region. 
Since the stabbing of the delight of the bulwark of 

Since earth has gone upon Aneurin, 
My cry has not been separated from Gododin. 

xci. Echo speaks of the formidable and dragon-like 
And of the fair game which was played in front of 
the unclaimed course of Gododin. 


He brought a supply of wine into the tents of the 

In the season of the storm, when there were vessels on 

the sea, 
When there was a host on the sea, a well-nourished 

A splendid troop of warriors, successful against a myriad 

of men, 
Is coming from Dindywydd in Dyvnwydd. 
Before Doleu in battle, worn out were their shields, and 

battered their helmets. 

xcii. With slaughter was every region filled. 

His courage was like a fetter ; 

The front of his shield was pierced. 

Disagreeable is the delay of the brave 

To defend Eywyniawg. 

The second time they reposed, and were crushed 

By the war-horses with gory trappings. 

An immovable army will his warlike and brave nobles 

When they are greatly affronted. 

Severe in the conflict with blades he slaughtered ; 

Sad news from the battle he brought ; 

And an hundred New-years' songs he composed. 

Adan, the son of Urvai, was pierced ; 

Adan, the haughty boar, was pierced ; 

One damsel, a maid, and a hero. 

And when he was only a youth he had the rights of a 

Lord of Gwyndyd, of the blood of Cilydd Gwaredawg 

Ere the turf was laid on the face of the generous dead, 

Wisely collected were his treasure, praise, and high- 
sounding fame. 


The grave of Gorthyn Hir from the highlands of 

xciii. For the piercing of the skilful and most learned man, 
For the fair corpse which fell prostrate on the ground, 
Thrice six persons judged the atrocious deed early in 

the morning ; 
And Morien lifted up his ancient lance, 
And, shouting, unbent his tight-drawn bow 
Towards the Gwyr, and the Gwyddyl, and Prydein. 
Towards the lovely, slender, bloodstained body 
The sigh of Gwenabwy, the son of Gwen. 

xciv. For the afilicting of the skilful and most learned man, 

There was grief and sorrow, when he fell prostrate on 

the ground ; 
His banner showed his rank, and was borne by a man 

at his side. 
A tumultuous scene was beheld in Eiddyn, and on the 

The grasp of his hand prevailed 
Over the Gynt, and the Gwyddyl, and Pryden, 
He who meddles with the mane of a wolf without a club 

in his hand, 
He must naturally have a brave disposition under his 

The sigh of Gwenabwy, the son of Gwen. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 93. Notes, vol ii. p. 390. 

Here beginneth the Gorchan of Tudvwlch. 

J^ElHEY assemble in arms, the ranks are formed, tumult 

approaches ; 
In front are the warlike, in front the noble, in front the 

While the trenches are full of motion, around are heard the 

curved horns, and are seen the curved falchions ; 
To the praise of the king with the host whose presence 

is devastation. 
I saw dark gore arising on the stalks of plants, on the 

clasp of the fetter, 
On the bunches, on the sovereign, on the bush, and the 

spear : 
And ruddy was the sea-beach ; and on the sea-beach, and in 

And Gwynheidyd splendid excess prevailed. 
The crowd made a firm stay before the ceremony, like the 

checking of excess. 
10 Uplifted were the shields around the front of the aged 

when the excess prevailed. 
A wolf in his lifetime was Bleiddiad, unrestrained in his 

Active were the glittering shafts with the aspect of a 

serpent, from the radiance of serpents. 
Wounded thou art, commander of rulers, and delight of 

Thou lovedst partly to live : I wish thou livedst, thou 

of victorious energy ! 



Unjustly oppressed bull (of conflict), I deplore thy death, 

thou who wert fond of the tumult ! 
In the face of the sea, in the front rank of men, around the 

pit of battle 
Bran combats in Cynwyd. 
A wave burst forth which afilicted the world. 
He refused to the tribes of the country, and for the benefit 

of the infantry, 
20 Four multitudes, four military troops of the world. 

The shields were in splinters, and the blade in the hair of 

one from the square, 
The man who poured the expressed mead out of the blue 

A man of quality, surrounded with purple, the stay of 

It was the performance of Tudvwlch of severe aspect, whose 

standard was of the colour of the blood of grapes. 
By reason of mead free drunk, a multitude went over the 

In the action at the goal, for the preservation of law. 
Cynan, the energetic chief from Mona, acted justly as 

regards the higher orders. 
Tudvwlch and Cyvwlch made breaches in the heights of 

Caers ; 
With Mynyddawg disastrous did their wassails prove. 
30 A year of longing for the men of Catraeth is cherished by 

me ; — 
Their steel blades, their mead, their vehemence, and their 

They assemble in arms, the ranks are formed ; do I not 

hear the tumult ? 

And so it endeth. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 94. Notes, vol. ii. p. 392. 

Here now beginneth the Gorchan of Cynvelyn. 


EEE I to praise, 

Were I to sing, 

The Gwarchan would cause high shoots to spring, 

Stalks like the collar of Trych Trwyth, 

Monstrously savage, bursting and thrusting through, 

"When he was attacked in the river 

Before his precious things. 

Cam Gaffon burst through. 

Before the cairns of Riwrhon, J 

10 Those that delighted in war, " 

Whose bones were short, their horsemen shorter. 

Gylvach burst through 

The assaults of heroism. 

Fury against the Angles is just ; 

It is right to kill ; it is right to crush those who are 

Before the congenial splendour 

There wiU be light for furthering the project, 

And ability to descend 

To every daring enterprise, 
20 Through nail, through snare, 

Tlirough trapdoor, and fetters. 

And gold spread abroad ; 

And deep sorrow will happen 

To Gwynassedd the yellow. 

His blood will be around him 

Concealed will be the froth 


Of the splendid yellow mead ; 

Again there will be blood around him 

Before the battles of Cynvelyn, — 
30 From the indignation of Cynvelyn, 

The uplifted pillar of wrath, 

Food-provider for the birds. 

With pendent stirrups 

Will the graceful ones return, 

Under the thigh of the heroes, 

As swift as sprites move 

On a pleasant lawn. 

Sovereign of the land of song ! 

It is mine to lament him, 
40 Until I come to the silent day ! 

The foe asked for 

A long-handled weapon ! 

More powerful than the highly-honoured lays 

Is the Gwarchan of Cynvelyn. 

The Gorchan of Cynvelyn, to make the region weep. 

A man of fortitude from Gwynedd has departed his country ! 

The brave are lamented ; 

Let the Caer of Eiddin deplore 

The dread and illustrious men clothed in splendid blue. 
50 Brilliant is thy ruddy gem — is it not precious ? 

Flowing panegyric is due to the horses 

Of Eithinyn — are they not splendid ? 

The Gwarchan of Cynvelyn on Gododin ! 

Has he not, for a man, performed a reasonable part ? 

His heavy spear, adorned with gold, he bestowed on me ; 

Be it for the benefit of his soul ! 

His son Tegvan shall be honoured 

In numbering and in partitioning, the grandson of Cadvan, 

The pillar of ardency. 
60 When weapons were hurled 


Over the heads of battle-wolves, 
Soon would he come in the day of distress. 
Three men and three score and three hundred 
To the conflict of Catraeth went forth ; 
Of those who hastened 

From the mead of the cup-bearers, three only returned, — 
Cynon, and Cadreith, and Cadlew of Cadnant ; 
And me, on account of my blood they deplored, 
Son of the omen pile, my ransom they contributed, 
70 Of pure gold, and steel, and silver. 

For their heroism they received no protection. 
The Gwarchan of Cynvelyn will celebrate their contribu- 

Here endeth the Gwarchan of Cynvelyn. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 97. Notes, vol. ii. p. 394. 

Every ode of the Gododin is equivalent to a single song, 
according to the privilege of poetical composition. Each of 
the Gwarchans is equal to three hundred and sixty-three songs, 
because the number of the men who went to Catraeth is com- 
memorated in the Gorchans ; and as no man should go to 
battle without arms, so no bard ought to contend without 
that poem. 

Here now begins the Gwarchan of Maelderw. Taliessin 
sung it, and it is a privileged ode. His three Gwarchans are 
equal in poetical competition to all the odes in the Gododin. 

The noise of two Abers around the Caer ! 
Arouse thyself to arms and splendour ! 


Cold is the passing and repassing of the breach of battle. 

Lover of fame, seekest thou to sleep ? 

The variegated texture, the covering of heroism, 

For the shelterless assault shall be woven. 

The breach that has been attempted will not be effected. 

3^ar the patient exertion of heroism. 

Sharply in arms he used to frown, 
10 But mildly allured he the intellectual world. 

A man that will run when thou pursuest, 

Will have the rounded house of the sepulchre for his bed. 

Call together, but do not reproach the over-anxious ; 

And meddle not with the fierce and violent. 

Let him who has a just claim break the boundary. 

He does not calculate upon praise 

Who defends his shelter. 

Praise is the meed of those who have made impressions. 

The victor gazed towards the fair one. 
20 Of bright and prominent uplifted front, 

On the ruddy dragon, the palladium of Pharaon, 

Which will in the air accompany the peopla 

Dead is every one that fell on his mouth 

In the repulsion of the march of Teth and Teddyd. 

Courteous was the great retinue of the wall, of ashen 

To the sea thou mayst not come ; 

But neither thy retreat nor thy counsel will fail. 

Thou magnanimous soul in the defence of his boundaries. 

No more can they extricate themselves, 
30 Extricate themselves before the barrier of Eiddyn. 

Cenan, the fair wall of excellence, 

Placed a sword on the entrenchment of warriors. 

Victorious was the chief 

In dispossessing the sovereign, 

The inconstant 


Gray-headed chief of ministers, 

Whose counsels were deep. 

The mutually sweet will not produce the mutually bitter. 

I have mutually wished, 
40 I do mutually wish for the repose of Enlli 

The fair aspect of which is filled with deep interest, 

On the course on a serene morning. 

It allures me, it plays upon my strong desire. 

I will ask the men for a dwelling, 

In order to lessen the loss. 

Happiness was lost and recovered. 

The northern Eun, chieftain, thou hast caused to withdraw ; 

The fat one in returning thou wilt cause to return to me. 

They call more for large trees than for honeysuckles. 
{Three lines untranslated). 

Let the sovereign stand firm between the looks of Drem- 

The ruddy glancer, whose purpose cannot be viewed for a 
sufficient time. 

Whose purpose cannot be viewed for a sufficient time, 

By those who with impunity plough the noisy sea. 

First to be satisfied is the pale one. 

The eccentric, whose throne is of complete form. 

Before he was covered, Gownddelw 
60 Was a tall man of great worth like Maelderw. 

I will extol him who wields the spear. 

Whose course is like that of the ruler of the mount. 

The pervader of the land, by whose influence I am moved. 

With active tumult did he descend to the ravine between 
the hills. 

Nor was his presence a running shadow. 

Whatever may befall the high land, 

Disgrace shall never happen to the assembled train. 


I. It is well that Adonwy came, Adonwy to those that 
were left. 
What Bradwen did, thou hast done ; thou didst kill and 

Thou didst not keep the rear or the van. 
I know the aspect of thy helmet. I have not seen from sea 
To sea a worse knight than Odgur. 

II. Three hundred golden-torqued ones hastened along 
To engage in the conflict ; a sally ensued ; 
And though they were killed, they also killed ; 
And unto the end of the world honoured they shall be ; 
And of those who went in mutual amity, 
Alas ! except one man none escaped. 

III. Three hundred wearing the golden torques, 
Fond of valorous toU, and headlong in the course ; 
Three himdred haughty ones, 

Unanimous, and equally armed. 
Three hundred prancing horses 
Did with them hasten. 
Three chiefs and three hundred, 
Alas ! none returned. 

IV. Furious in the battle, unreceding in distress ; 

In the conflict there was no peace if he acted vigorously ; 
In the day of wrath, shunning was no part of his work ; 
The aspect of a boar had Bleiddig son of Eli ; 
"Wine was quaffed in brimful vessels of glass ; 
And the day of battle, exploits did he achieve 
On Arvwl Cann, before he died. 
Ruddy-tinted carnage used to attract him : 

V. Vigorously in the front of battles would he cause the 

crimson fluid to flow, 
VOL. I. 2 E 


Powerful as an instrument in battle, 
And splendidly covered with mail. 
Eeport informs me 
That the dexterous blade 
Will not be manifested 
To the diffident. 

VI. He would reduce men to ashes, 
And make wives widows, 
Before his death, — 

Breint, son of Bleiddgi ; 
With spears would he 
Cause blood to flow. 

VII. Great is the design of him who conceals his vigorous 

His weapon he will conceal 

Like a hidden treasure. 

When all ascended, thou descendest. 

Ceneu Gwyn, the blood of the dead how didst thou 

shed ! 
Three years and four, 

Thou, guardian, didst put on magnificent raiment. 
And to protect thee. 
Though a youth, it was not right for me, for thou didst 

not retreat. 
Pressent narrates that he was carried away with the arms. 

VIII. When he repaired to his native country, his fame was 
spread abroad ; 
He poured out the wine, the golden-torqued man ! 
He would give a gorgeously fine suit to a brave person, 
And check a hundred men, courteous hero ! 
And send away the progeny of a foreign knight ; — 
The only son of Cian from beyond Bannawg, 


Never did in Gododin tread on the surface of the fosse, 
While he was, any one more ardent than Lliv. 

IX. Angor, the scatterer of the brave, serpent with the 

piercing pike, 
An immovable stone in front of the army ; 
Accustomed to the preparation of attacks, 
And greatly to reward the assaulting lance. 
Perfect art thou called from thy just deed. 
Leader, director, and bulwark of all that are of the same 

language : 
Tudvwlch, the subduer in battle, the destroyer of Caers. 

X. Angor, the scatterer of the brave, serpent with the 

piercing pike in the front of the army ; 
Perfect art thou called from thy just deed. 
Faithful art thou called from thy faithful deed. 
Leader, director, and the bulwark of every tribe, 
Meryn, son of Madyeith, it is well that thou art bom ! 

XI. Gwolowy secured a gray wolf, whose roaring was as 

that of water. 
Angor, the scatterer of the brave, an immovable stone 

in the front of the army. 
Buddy radiance, and horses, and men were in front of 

Whence so rapidly ascends the address 
Of the Bard of the Cymry, Tottarth, in front of Garth 


XIL His shield, with endurance, he would not lower 

Before the face of any one ; wrong he would not 

Urgent were the requests for horses in the entrance. 


The gold of the heroes, the crowd of holly lances 

covered it with gore. 
While his comrade was pierced, he pierced others ; 
Disgrace to thee he would not bring : 
Active in martial valour, he made a noble display, 
When he carried away the famous Cyhuran of Mordei. 

xm. Falsely it was said by Tudleo, 

That no one's steeds were overtaken by Marchlew, 
As he was reared to bring support to all around : 
Powerful was the stroke of his sword on the adversary ; 
Eagerly ascended the ashen spear from the grasp 
Of his hand, from the narrow summit of the awful pile. 

XIV. Direct us to heaven, the wished-for home of order ! 
Woe to us on account of constant lamentation and grief ! 
When the strangers came from Dineiddyn, 
Every wise man was banished the country. 
In the contention with Lloegyr of various conflicts. 
Nine score for every one were made prostrate. 
An array of horses, harness, and silken robes, 
Gwaednerth arranged conspicuously from the battle. 

XV, From the retinue of Mynyddawg that hastened 

In splendid order around the store of beverage regaled 

they themselves, 
From the banquet of Mynyddawg, my mind has become 

Because of those of my true kinsmen I have completely 

Of three hundred golden-wreathed heroes, who marched 

to Catraeth, 
Alas ! except one man none escaped. 


XVI. The retinue of Gododin rode on 

Swan-coloured horses with quivering manes and droop- 
ing harness, 

And in front of the host, the throng descended, 

In defence of his generalship, and the mead of Eiddyn, 

By the advice of Mynyddawg. 

The shields were moved about, 

The lances fell 

Upon fair brows, 

While the men were languidly dropping like fruit from 
the tree. 

They bore no reproach, men that did not skulk. 

XVII. Have I not drunk mead on the march, 

A banquet of wine before Catraeth as a preservative ? 
When he made slaughter with his unyielding lance 
In the conflict, it was no inglorious sight to see where 

thou wert. 
A monster was no frightful object to thee while 

effecting deliverance, 
TeiTible and shielded Madawg Elved, 

XVIII. When they fairly met, there was no escaping for life. 
Dialgur of Arvon fetched bright gold at the request 
Of the Brython. High-mettled were the horses of Cynou. 

XIX. Llech Lleudu, and Tud Lleuvre, 

The course, the course of Gododin. 

A hand ! a hand ! a counsel ! a counsel ! 

A tempest over the sea ! a vessel from beyond sea ! 

The host of Heidiliawn, the host of Meidlyawn, a degene- 
rate host, 

Moving from Dindywydd. 

Battered was the shield before the bull of conflict, the 
van was broken. 


XX. Golden-mailed warriors were there on the walls of the 

Caer ; 
Slow was the excess, but the tumult of battle was not 

One feeble man with his shouts kept away 
The birds of the region, like Pelloid Miraia 
No one living will relate what happened 
At Uiw, about the banks of Ilwch LUvanad ; 
No one living will relate of any one to whom in the 

day of conflict 
Cynaval was not equal in merit. 

XXI. No achievement to-day around Neimyn ! 

The same covering envelopes men of the noblest descent. 
A numerous host engaged in battle which is worth 

The son of Nwjrthon killed of the golden-torqued ones 
A hundred chieftains, as far as it is related, the vehemence 
Was greater than when a hundred men went to Catraeth. 
He was like a mead-fed hero with a large heart. 
He was a man of hosts ; energetic was he in his coat of 

He was a man of conflict, fierce was he on the ridge of 

No man among a thousand brave warriors 
Handled a spear, or a shield, or a sword, or a dagger, 
Who was a braver man than Neim the son of Nwython. 

XXII. While there was a drop, they were like three lions in 

purpose ; 
In the battle three brave, prompt, active lions. 
Bribon who wielded the thick lance, 

Xxm. Accustomed was he to defend Gododin against a hero, 
In the van of battle, against vehement ones, 


Accustomed was he, in the manner of Alan, to be 

swift ; 
Accustomed was he before a horde of depredators to 

make a descent ; 
Accustomed was the son of Golystan, though he was 
A sovereign, to listen to what his father said ; 
Accustomed was he, in the interest of Mynyddawg, 

to have a perforated shield. 
And a ruddy lance, before the vigorous chief of Eiddyn. 

XXIV. The rulers did not celebrate the praise of the holy 

Before the attack of the numerous host, the battle 

was broken through. 
Like a raging fire through combustibles. 
On Tuesday, they put on their splendid robes ; 
On Wednesday, bitter was their assembly ; 
On Thursday, messengers formed contracts ; 
On Friday, there were carnage and contusion ; 
On Saturday, they dealt mutual blows ; 
On Sunday, they were pierced by ruddy weapons ; 
On Monday, a pool of blood, knee-deep, was seen. 
The Grododin, after tedious toil, cannot relate it. 
Before the tents of Madawg after the return. 

XXV. A grievous descent was made in front of the hoarded 

riches ; 
The first to chase them was a person renowned for 

activity ; — 
Gwannannon, honoured in the mead banquet, whose 

prowess I will extol ; 
And next to him the brave-minded and heroic 
Eithinyn the renowned, the son of Bodw. 


XXVI. Men of excess went with them, 

Who had been revelling in wine and mead, 

In the banquet of Mynyddawg. 

We are greatly grieved at the loss 

Of a man of such terrible energy ; 

Like thunder from heaven was the clashing of his 

From the agitation caused by Eithinyn ; 

XXVII. Swift and heroic he was when at early dawn 
He would arise to lead his band ; 
But whether leading or following 
Before a hundred he stood prominent. 
He was so disposed to (assault) them, 
As to drink mead or wine ; 
He was so unsparing, 
When he transfixed the foes, 
And forward was his course towards them. 

XXVIII. Eapidly and heroically with the dawn they marched 
To the conflict, with the commander in front of the 

course ; 
Gwair was greeted by the fluid gore 
In the van of the battle ; 
He was a beloved friend 
In the day of distress. 
The defence of the mountain, the place. 
And the forward beam of war, wore a murky hue. 

XXIX. His lances were seen among the hosts 

Vigorously employed for mutual defence against the 

foe ; 
Before the din of his shields they concealed them- 


They lay hid before Eiddyn, the lofty hill ; 

And of as many as he found none returned ; 

Of him the truth is related and sung : 

Obstinately would he pierce armour, when he caused 

a trembling ; 
And he whom he pierced, would not be pierced again. 
Repeated are the lamentations that his presents are 

gone ; 
His friends were as numerous as bees ; 
And before he was covered under the sward of the 

He caused the mead to flow. 

XXX, {Five lines untranslated.) 

The Gododin will not relate at the early dawn 
Of any to whom Cynaval was not equal 

XXXI. Blade weapons, broad and ruddy, were abundant 

before he was covered, 
The hero who filled the plain with slaughtered men. 
He was a joyous chief, an unflinching wolf-like hero, 

a firm woK 
In the camp, with a submissive retinue blessing him ; 
Before he was arrested, he was not feeble. 
Perfect art thou called from thy righteous deed ; 
Leader, director, and bulwark of all that are of the 

same language, 
Tudvwlch, the subduer in battle, the destroyer of 


xxxn. The slayer of hosts is gone to the black glebe : 
A piece of earth has made 
Sweet bitter to the people. 

Withered leaves are driven too and fro on his patri- 
mony ; 


It was not for the advantage of the country that the 

sod (should cover him) ; 
The bull of conflict never retreated the width of an acre. 
Sad is the fate that it should thus be ! 

XXXIII. He pierced upwards of three hundred of the foe, 
He slaughtered the centre and the extreme ; 
He was worthy to be at the head of an army, most 

gentle ; 
He fed his horses upon barley in winter. 
Black ravens croaked on the wall 
Of the beautiful Caer. He was an Arthur 
In the midst of the exhausting conflict, 
In the assault in the pass, like Gwemor the hero. 

xxxiv. I ought to sing to Cynon with the flesh-spears : 

In action, and before the desolating spears of Aeron, 
His hand was reckoned at the head of hoary heroes. 
To me was distributed the best fare among the daring 

To the advantage of Mynyddawg, knight of the people. 
He appointed me to harass the enemy 
On Catraeth, where the golden-torqued heroes were 

They pierced and slaughtered those who stood before 

them ; 
Whelps committed ravages about their territories. 
There was scarcely in the lists, on the part of the 

At Gododin, from a distance a man better than Cenon. 

XXXV. It is incumbent on me to celebrate the complete 
Of our warriors, who around Catraeth made a tumult- 
uous rout, 


With confusion, and blood, and treading, and trampling, 
Where valour was trampled, and vengeance taken 

because of the contribution of mead. 
As to the carnage of the combatants, 
Cibno does not relate after the excitement of battle. 
Since he has received the communion he shall be 


xxxvL Birds were allured {untranslated). 
{One, line untranslated^ 
He put on gold before the battle-shout, in the front 
rank of the accomplished heroes. 
{Three lines untranslated) 
Cibno the son of Gwengad had a long and splendid 

XXXVII. I owe a complete song to the dog of Gwerunyd. 
Let joy be in the chamber. ♦ * * 


Song to Ale. 
book of taliessin xx. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 165. Notes, vol. ii. p. 407. 
^EIhE qualities shall be extolled 
Of the man that chained the wind. 
When his powers come, 
Extremely noisy the elements ; 
For ever will thy impulse be, 
Thou dost pervade 
The tide of darkness and day. 
The day, there will be a shelter to me, 
The night, it will be rested. 


10 Softness is praised. 

From a great Guledig. 

The great God caused 

The sun of summer, and its excessive heat ; 

And he caused 

The abundance of the wood and field. 

He is the powerful cause of the stream, 

Flowing abundantly. 

He is the powerful cause of every kindness ; 

God redeemed me 
20 And before they come, 

The people of the world to the one hill, 

They will not be able to do the least, 

Without the power of the King, 

He shall steep it in the Uyn, 

Until it shall sprout. 

He shall steep it another time 

Until it is sodden. 

Not for a long time will be finished 
30 What the elements produce. 

Let his vessels be washed. 

Let his wort be clear. 

And when there shall be an exciter of song. 

Let it be brought from the cell, 

Let it be brought before kings. 

In splendid festivals. 

Will not oppose every two 

The honey that made it. 

God's departure in me, 
40 As long as the world is in being, 

The mildest is the Trinity. 

The provocative of the drunkard is drunkenness. 

The fishes might show 

The capacity of the lodgments 


Of the gravel of the salt sea, 
Before it overwhelms the strand. 
The gravel of the salt sea 
Below the sand 

Will conceal me from the privileged one. 
MyseK he will deliver. 
50 No one will be satisfied, 

Without the power of the Trinity. 


Qualities they wiU honour 

In the boundary of Garant, 

The mighty ones, without desire, from the reeking 

Marsh wUl remove, 

When the string of harmony resounds, 

Or the shades of night approach, 

The hidden retreat from day. 

Do the skilful in song know 

Where the powerful artist is concealed ? 
10 That will give me a robe 

From the gate when he ascends. 

When the chief leads, in winter, ^ 

What melody is commenced together. 

In choosing loud fame, 

With haste the fortunate will run, 

He will awake the sleeper. 

He will merit Carawg 

Of the many-citied Cymry, 

The father of Caradawg ; 
20 The sound of the Meneivians, 

The sound of Mynawg of Mona. 

The great terrible perjured 

Gwentians, long-haired. 

On account of Caer Wyrangon. 


Who will pay the precious reward ? 

Is it IMaelgwn from Mona ? 

Or shall it come from Aeron ? 

Or Coel or Canawon ? 

Or Gwrweddw or his sons ? 
30 His enemies shall not exult 

From the hostages of Ynyr. 

To him will resort the minstrels, 

The star of magnificent stars, 

Have I not disarmed the mystery ? 

In Mordei Uffin, 

In the seas of Gododin, 

He is a sharer of varied words, 

The raven of the morning divining. 

I am an aged exile, 
40 I am of joyful talents. 

And the stroke of malice. 

Mine, the praising of Urien, 

Of splendid purity of life. 

Very keen his conduct of hosts. 

The ruddy-reaping of the steep. 

Euddyn formed them, 

At the battle in Harddnenwys, 

It was Ynyr that broke them to pieces. 

A hundred festivals holding 
50 A hundred friends he defended. 

I saw mighty men, 

Who hastened to the shout of war ; 

I saw blood on the ground 

From the assault of swords. 

They tinged with blue the wings of the dawn ; 

They threw off the spears. 

Three hundred festivals complete of the renowned 

Ynyr, on the earth indeed there will be redness. 




Text, vol. ii. p. 204. Notes, vol. ii. p. 420. 

Mi BEIGHT festivity 

About the two lakes. 

The lake on my side. 

The side about the Caer, 

The Caer in urgency 

Has been described. 

A comely flight from it ; 

And the legion of the band 

Augmented stones. 
10 The dragon will flow around, 

Above the places, 

Vessels of liquor, 

Liquor in golden horns, 

Golden horns in hand, 

Hand on the knife, 

The knife on the rallying point. 

Truly I implore thee, 

Victorious Beli, 

Son of Manogan, the king, 
20 That will preserve the qualities 

Of the honey isle of Beli, 

He had a right to it. 

Five chiefs there will be 

Of the Gwyddyl Ffichti, 


Of a sinner's disposition, 

Of the race of the knife. 

Five others there will be, 

Of the Norddmyn's place, 

The sixth a wonderful king, 
30 From sowing to reaping. 

The seventh proceeded 

To land over the flood. 

The eighth of the line of Dyvi. 

Shall not be separated from prosperity, 

Before the shout of Venni. 

The calls of Eryri. 

With difficulty thou wilt come. 

Let us implore Eloi, 

When we may be with Celi, 
40 A dwelling of heaven wiU be to me. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 205. Notes, vol. ii. p. 420. 

jm^lAY God exalt over the community of Brython 
The sign of gladness of a host from Moneu 
There is a contention among the active patriots of Gwynedd. 
Of bright radiancy, from every battle to have pledges. 
Powys will become grave in embraces. 
Men, great-craving, will act on their laws. 
Two hosts will go, they will be consonant. 
Of one disposition, of one word, harmonious, compact. 
They will divide justly the people of Ceredigiawn, 
10 When thou seest men few about Ilyn Aeron. 
When will be heavy Tywi and Teivi rivers, 
They will make battle in haste about Uys Llonion. 


What he saw he left over-laden. 

He protected not cities from indignations. 

A man warm, a man that guards, a man of impulse. 

He was not an utterly clownish man, Eieddon. 

"When Cadwallawn came 

Over the ocean of Iwerdon, 

He regulated heaven as high creator. 
20 Songsters, soon may I hear their cares, 

An army of horsemen so harassing about Caer Llion, 

And the revenge of Idwal on Aranwynyon, 

And playing at ball with heads of Saxons. 

There will be troubled the Cat Vreith and its strange 

From the ford at Taradyr, as far as Forth Wygyr in Mona. 

A youth brought them to Dinas Maon. 

From the time when is defended the honey and clover 

They leave their noise and contention, 
30 Not unpledged to raise anger against enemies. 

May God exalt over the community of Brython. 


Text, voL ii p. 277. Notes, vol. ii. p. 441. 

I. Cadwallawn, before he came. 
Fought, to our ample satisfaction, 
Fourteen great battles, 
For fairest Prydein, 
And sixty skirmishes. 

II. Cadwallawn encamped on Ceint ; 

Birds presaged the troubles of Lloegyr ; 
His hand was open, and honour flowed. 
VOL. I. 2 F 


III. Cadwallawn encamped on Yddon, 
The fierce affliction of his foes, 

A lion prosperous over the Saxons. 

IV. Cadwallawn the illustrious 
Encamped on DigoU Mount, 

For seven months and seven battles daily. 

V. Cadwallawn encamped on the Havren, 
And on the further side of Dygen, 
And the devourers were buming Meigen. 

VI. Cadwallawn encamped on the Wy, 
The multitude, after passing the water. 
Followed to the battle of shield. 

VII. Cadwallawn encamped by the well 

Of Bedwyr ; before soldiers he cherished virtue ; 
There Cynon showed how to assert the right. 

VIII. Cadwallawn encamped on the Tav ; 
Very numerous I see 

The sharers in the fame of the powerful chief. 

IX. Cadwallawn encamped on the Tawy ; 

He had the hand of slaughter in the breach ; 
Illustrious was he, eager he sought the conflict. 

X. Cadwallawn encamped beyond the Caer 
Of Caew, with an army urgent in tumult 
A hundred battles, and the breaking of a hundred 

XI. Cadwallawn encamped on the Cowyn ; 
The hand was weary of the rein ; 
The men of lioegyr, numerous their complaints. 


xn. Cadwallawn encamped this night 

In the extremity of the region of Penvro, 

For refuge to retreat where the difficulty was great. 

XIII. Cadwallawn encamped on the Teivi ; 
The blood mixed with the brine ; 
The fury of Gwyuedd violently raged. 

XIV. Cadwallawn encamped on the river Duffyrdd, 
He made the eagles full : 

After the battle gifts were conferred. 

XV. Cadwallawn encamped, my brother, 

In the upper part of the country of Dunawd ; 
His wrath was violent in the gushing fight. 

XVI. Cadwallawn encamped on Menin, 
The lion with a numerous host. 

Great the tumult, extremely harassing to the rear. 

XVII. From the plotting of strangers and iniquitous 
Monks, as the water flows from the fountain, 
Sad and heavy will be the day for Cadwallawn. 

xvin. The trees have put on the gay robes 

Of summer ; let wrath be hastened by fate ; 
Let us meet around Elved. 




The Omen of Prydein the Great. 

book of taliessin vi. 

Text, vol. iL p. 123. Notes, vol. il p. 398. 

J^EIHE Awen foretells the hastening of 
The multitude, possessed of wealth and peace ; 
And a bountiful sovereign, and eloquent princes. 
And after tranquillity, commotion in every place, 
Heroic men raising a tumult of fierce contention. 
Swift the remorse of defending too long. 
The contention of men even to Caer "Weir, the dispersion 

of the Allmyn. 
They made great rejoicing after exhaustion. 
And the reconciling of the Cymry and the men of Dublin, 
10 The Gwyddyl of Iwerdon, Mona, and Prydyn, 
Cornwall and Clydemen their compact with them. 
The Brython will be outcasts, when they shall have done, 
Far will be foretold the time they shall be. 
Kings and nobles will subdue them. 
The men of the North at the entry surrounding them. 
In the midst of their front they will descend. 


Myrdin foretells these will meet, 

In Aber Peryddon, the stewards of the kings ; 

And though there be no right of slaughter they complain. 



20 Of one will of the mind they will refuse. 
Stewards their taxes would collect ; 
In the treasures of Cymry, there was not that they would 

One that is a proprietor says this. 
There will not come one that will pay in slavery. 
The great Son of Mary declareth, when it did not break out 
Against the chief of the Saxons and their fondness, 
Far be the Cychmyn to Gwrtheym of Gwynedd. 
He drove the Allmyn to banishment. 
No one will attain to anything, but what earth will deprive. 

30 They know not what may be passing in every outlet. 
When they bought Thanet, through lack of discretion. 
With Hors and Hengys, who were in their career, 
Their prosperity has been derived from us without honour. 
After a secret, the captive was worked upon at the Ynver. 
Drunkenness will be pleased with much liquor of mead. 
Poverty will bear with the death of many. 
Terrors will bear with the tears of women ; 
An enervated chief will excite a wailing. 
The sorrow of the world will bear with much irritation. 

40 When the Cechmyn of Thanet are our kings, 

May the Trinity ward off the blow that is intended. 
To agitate the land of the Brython, and the Saxons at 

Sooner may their kings be in banishment. 
Than the Cymry should go into exile. 


The great Son of Mary declareth, when will not break out 
The Cymry against the surmise of a baron, and princes; 
Foremost ones in asking, examples, one law they complain, 
One meeting, one council, of one voice they are. 
There were none, however great, who did not speak. 


50 Except to dispense with surmises they would not agree. 

To God and David they recommended themselves. 

Let him pay, let him refrain from a refusal to Allmyn. 

Let them make ill reports of the wants of the townsman. 

The Cymry will meet the Saxons. 

For various mutual consumption and resistance. 

Of the excessively great army, when they have experience, 

And on the hill, at the blades and shout, they will tremhle, 

And on the Gwy severe rencounters will follow them. 

And a banner will come, rough it will descend. 
60 And like the budded blossoms the Saxons will fall. 

The Cymry gathering strength with union of actions. 

First and last the Granwjmyon were in a strait. 

The stewards to the value of their deceit prostrating them. 

Their army in the running of blood surrounding them. 

Others on their feet through woods wiU retreat. 

Through the ramparts of the city they will flee. 

A war without returning to the land of Prydyn. 

The council will be broken by hand, like the sea they 
will glide away. 

The stewards of Caer Ceri dishonoured complain. 
70 Some the valley and hUl do not decline, 

To Aber Peryddon they came not well. 

Tremendous taxes they collect. 

Nine score hundred men they descend. 

Great mockery, except four, they did not return. 

Tranquillity to their wives they say, 

Their shirts full of gore they wash. 

The Cymry, foremost in asking, profuse of soul. 

The men of the South will defend their taxes. 

With sharp-ground blades utterly they will kilL 
80 There wiU be no advantage to the physician from what 
they do. 

The armies of Cadwaladyr, mighty they come, 


The Cyniry were exalted, a battle they made. '^ ~ 

A slaughter without measure they assailed. 
In the end of their taxes, death they know. 
Others, large branches they planted. 
For age of ages their taxes they will not leave off. 
In wood, in plain, on hill, 
A candle in the dark will go with them. 
Cynan opening a forward way in every descent. 
90 Saxons against the Brython, woe they will sing. 
Cadwaladyr a piUar with his princes. 
Though prudence utterly attending to them. 
When they drop their covering over their support. 
In affliction, and the crimson gore on the cheeks of the 

At the end of every expedition spoil they lead. 
The Saxon on journey as far as Caer Wynt formerly who 

sooner skulked ? 
Happy they, the Cymry, when they say, 
The Trinity delivered us from the former trouble. 
Let not Dyved or Glywyssyg tremble. 
100 The praise of stewards will not affect kings, 

Nor shall the councils of the Saxons obtain what they 

Meads shall not cause drunkenness with us, 
Without the payment by fate of what we have. 
From orphaned sons and others a few ; 
Through the intercession of David and the saints of 

As far as the stream of Arlego they will flee out 


The Awen foretells, the day will come. 
When he will come to summon to one council, 
One company, one council, and Lloegyr being burnt. 


110 In the hope of detracting our most comely army. 
And the song of another country will flee always. 
He knows not a hiding-place for my goods, and where 

will be a shelter ? 
They raise a barking, like a bear from the mountain. 
To pay flattery theii* coimtry will bleed. 
Again shall come the toil of spears, fierce and sharp : 
The friend shall not spare the body of his companion. 
Again shall come the head of a salmon without brains ; 
Again shall come widowed women and spare horses. 
Again shall come a terrible shout from the assault of 

the warriors, 
120 And many hands unequal before scattering armies. 
The messengers of death met together, 
When stood carcases according to their origin, 
The tax will be avenged and the value daily, 
And the many messages on the false army. 

The Cymry have prevailed through the rencounter. 
Completely unanimous : of one voice, of one faith. 
The Cjonry have prevailed to cause battle. 
And the tribes of many a country they will collect, 
And the holy banner of David they will raise, 
130 To lead the Gwyddyl through the dark blue sea. 
And the faction of Dublin with us stood, 
AVhen they come to the battle, they will not deny them- 
selves ; 
They will ask the Saxons what they seek : 
How much of debt from the country they hold ? 
Whence is their route when they settled ? 
Whence their generation ? from what land did they come? 
Since the time of Gwrtheyrn they trample upon us. 
. Truth wiU not be obtained in the land of discord. 


Did they not trample entirely on the privilege of our 

saints ? 
140 Did they not entirely break through the miracles of 

David ? 
The Cymry will keep themselves, when they visit. 
The Alhnyn will not go from the places they stand on, 
Until they shall have paid seven times the value of 

what they did. 
And death shall scatter to the value of their wrong. 
The kin of Garmawn will pay of honour, 
In four years and four hundred. 
Valiant men long-haired, the Lord will incite : 
And a driving of the Saxons from Iwerdon there wiU be. 
Thence will come from Lengo, a wanton fleet. 
150 The battle was ruined, the armies were torn. 

There will come from Alclud, men, bold, faithful. 
To drive from Prydein bright armies. 
There will come from Llydaw, a seasonable ally. 
Warriors from their war-horses will not regard their origin. 
Saxons on all sides into disgrace will come ; 
Their age has passed away ; there is not a country. 
Death has been accomplished to the black auxiliary. 
Disease and duty will deliver us, 
After gold and silver and what is congenial. 
160 Let a bush be their shelter in reward of their bad faith. 
Let the sea be, let an anchor be, their counsellors. 
Let gore be, let death be, their auxiliary. 
Cynan and Cadwaladyr, mighty in armies ; 
They will be honoured until judgment : prosperity will 

attend them. 
Two tenacious chiefs ; profound their counsel. 
Two that will overcome the Saxons, with the aid of the 

Two generous ones, two treasurers of a merchant's country. 


Two fearless ones, ready, of one fortune, of one faith. 

Two exalters of Prydein of bright armies. 
170 Two bears do not know shame barking daily. 

Druids foretell what great things will happen. 

From Mynaw to Llydaw in their hands will be. 

From Dyved to Thanet they will possess. 

From the light to the ground along their Abers. 

Their chief partly paid for the land. 

A nakedness on Cynon, Saxons will not be. 

The Gwyddyl will return to their native countiy, 

The Cymry will raise up a mighty auxiliary. 

Armies about ale from the tumult of soldiers. 
180 And the kings of God that have kept their faith 

Will summon to every fleet : trouble will end ; 

And Cynan will reconcile them with each other. 

Cynon will not call in as combatants. 

Save the Cechmyn of Cadwaladyr, and his merchants. 

Like a Cymro, joyful of speech he will be, 

About the afflicted isle swarms will cease ; 

When the carcases stand according to their race, 
. Even to Aber Santwic it will be noised, 
, That the Allmyn are about to emigrate abroad, 
190 One after another, breaking afresh upon their race. 

The Saxons at anchor on the sea always. 

The Cymry venerable until doomsday shaU be supreme 

They will not seek books nor be covetous of poets. 

The presage of this isle will be no other than this. 

We will praise the King that created heaven and earth. 

May David be a leader to the combatants. 

Ynyr in GeUi Caer for God he is ; 

He will not die, he wiU not run away, he will not 
exhaust ; 

He will not fade, he will not fail, he will not bend, he 
will not tremble. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 202. Notes, vol. ii. p. 419. 

I^IIIHE Awen foretells the hastening of 

The multitude, possessed of wealth and peace. 

And a bountiful sovereign, and eloquent princes. 

And after tranquillity, commotion in every place. 

The seven sons of Beli arose. 

Caswallawn, and Lludd, and Cestuddyn, 

Diwed, Plo, Coll, lago from the land of Prydyn. 

A country boiling will be made as far as Balaon. 

Tired out their nails, ready for journeying their reins. 
10 Borderers of a ravaging country. 

The Cymry lost all their bounty. 

In the alliance of the sovereign's servants, 

Llyminawg will appear 

Who will be an ambitious man, 

To subdue Mona, 

And to ruin Gwynedd, 

From its extremity to its centre. 

From its beginning, from its end, 

And to take its pledges. 
20 Persevering his face, 

He will submit to none. 

Whether Cymry or Saxons. 

A person will come from concealment, 

That will make an universal stain of red, 

And a battle of strifes. 

Another will come. 

Far-extending his armies, 

A triumph to the Brython. 



Text, voL iL p. 211. Notes, voL ii p. 421. 

I. J^MEULY there will be to me a Eoman friend. 
Possibly from the son of another man he will cause 
Before him that he heard the expanding tumult. 
And an arrny and flow of blood on his enemy. 
And let horses sound, and the multitude (be) merciful 
They would cut, they would greatly assemble in the 

sword of conflict. 
Eavens and eagles adore blood. 
The ruddy path of the violent bear is fearless. 
Let Cadwaladyr rise ardent and gleaming 
On the face of the embattled hosts of vigorous countries. 

II. Truly there wUl be to me a day-share of frailties, 
A vow of prophecy in the first beginning. 
Years victorious, an excess of extensive rights. 
When winter overspreads, sharp the steering of ships. 
Confined the flow of harmony, courteous, respiring. 
Glorious the appearance of the torrent on the top of 

the waves. 
The swans resort round the morsel on the face of the 

Bear and lion empty the bright pools. 
The boundary depends upon crimson spears. 
Too much is sought chastisement, a caution to the fronts. 
Before his ranks and great possessions, 
Creeds fall, collars are broken by the crowds in front. 
To the combat of Cadwaladyr, of splendidly-read fame, 
There arose a dragon from the south, 
By a free youth he was slain on a Thursday. 


III. Truly there will be to me bounteous heroism, 
A royal eulogy of fame of great abundance. 
A path thick, abundant, broad its form. 

Until there be seven languages to the king of Gwynedd, 

Until exhausting tumult passes away, 

A king fond of a sleepless covering, 

Violence on Angles, and a journey to banishment, 

Through a sea will glide their offspring. 

IV. Truly there wiU be to me one having a right to Mona. 
Glorious the protection of the dragon to the people of 

the Brython. 
Chief of armies, a respecter of breastplated men. 
Deep, the prophecy divine of the Druids. 
They would pitch their tents on Tren and Taranhon. 
They would lie in ambush, to take Mona 
Far to go away be it a length from Iwerdon. 
Fair the honour to liberate the Csesarians. 

V. Predict a scene of unlovely discord. 

I know when a battle was caused over wine and mead 

A bear from Deheubarth barking at Gwynedd. 

Defending too long wonderful superfluity. 

Its fortified uplands were prepared, 

On the calends of winter placing lands. 

The mutual reflection on shields in the shout of the sword, 

To the combat of Cadwaladyr on the lord of Gwynedd. 

VI. Truly it will come, this will come to pass. 
All Lloegyr will lose their possessions by us. 
Seeing the aspects of the speckled white men. 
Between the shafts of arrows and white iron, 

A shouting on the sea, a lance-darting trembling of 
slaughter — 


They will languish in the ocean, beyond the broad lake, 
Sea and isles will be their gain. 

VII. Truly there will come to me from beyond Hafren 
Eepelled of Piydein, a king of destiny. 
A mild ruler of armies, numerous his progeny. 
A kingdom suitable, hateful from ice. 
The common people of the world truly wiU be joyful. 
They possess energies, a tribe of rich men. 
The flash flamed over the region of Hafren. 
Let the Cymry be collected splendidly 
To the combat of Cadwaladyr ; be joyful 
The chief minstrels with the glory of the battle. 

VIII. Truly he will come 

With his host and ships, 

And scaring shields, 

And changing lances, 

And after a valiant shout, 

His will will be done. 

IVIay the circle of Prydein 

Be enflamed there. 

The dragon will not hide himself. 

However many may come. 

Not light the praise 

Of conquering Dyved. 

He wiU bear likewise 

Over the effusions of Eeged. 

The creator, possessor of treasure, 

Generous, daring his flow. 

Immense his battle. 

By airing the skin 

Of Cadwakdyr, an active work. 




Satire of Cynan Garwyn son of Brochwael. 

Text, voL ii. p. 172. Notes, vol. ii. p. 409. 

@'YNAN, the exciter of battle, 

Bestowed on me treasure, 

For not false the glory 

Of the stout hunting dogs of the domain. 

A hundred steeds of equal pace. 

Silver their covering. 

A hundred legions in green 

Of one front running together. 

A hundred urchins in my bosom 
10 And a battalion of cats. 

A sword with sheath of stone. 

A fist-cell better than any. 

A hundred Cynan had. 

Hateful not to see, 

From the vales of Cadell. 

In battle they were not shaken. 

To the battle on Wy there resorted 

Spears innumerable. 

The Gwentians were slain, 
20 With the gore-drenched blade. 

A battle in Mona, great, fair, 

Hovering over, and praised ' - 

Over the Menei, there went 

Horses and confident ones. 


A battle on the hill of Dyved. 

Slaughter stings in motion. 

Nor were seen 

The kiiie before the countenance of any one. 

Let the son of Brochuael boast, 
30 He will declare his wish. 

Let Cornwall greet, 

The younger will not praise fate. 

The incomprehensible will depress 

In the day that is praised by me, 

My patron of Cynan. 

Battles arose. 

A woeful spreading flame, 

There raises up a great fire. 

A battle in the country of Brachan, 
40 A warring scene of tumult, 

Miserable princes. 

Were made to tremble before Cynan. 

The breastplate being transfixed, 

Like a ruler, they cried out, 

Cyngen of perfect song 

Thou wilt help with thy wide country. 

A saying was heard. 

Every one in his red place. 

Be the circle red, they say ironically, 
50 They will enslave thy Cynan. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 279. Notes, vol. ii. p. 445. 

I. J^^TAND forth, maidens, and survey the land 
Of Cyndylan ; Llys Pengsvem, is it not in flames ? 
Woe to the youth that longs for good fellowship. 


II, One tree with the tendril on it 
Is escaping it may be, 
But what God shall have willed, let it come ! 

Ill Cyndylan, with heart like the ice of winter, 
With thrust of wild boar through his head. 
Thou hast dispensed the ale of Tren ! 

IV. Cjnidylan, with heart like the fire of spring, 

By the common oath, in the midst of the common speech, 
Defending Tren, that wasted town ! 

V. Cyndylan, bright pillar of his country. 
Chain-bearer, obstinate in fight. 
Protected Tren, the town of his father ! 

VL Cyndylan, bright intelligence departed. 
Chain-bearer, obstinate in the host, 
Protected Tren as long as he was living. 

VIL Cyndylan, with heart of greyhound, 

When he descended to the turmoil of battle, 
A carnage he carved out. 

vin. Cyndylan, with heart of hawk, 
Was the true enraged 
Cub of Cyndrwyn, the stubborn one. 

IX. Cyndylan, with heart of wild boar. 

When he descended to the onset of battle. 
There was carnage in two heaps. 

X. Cyndylan, hungry boar, ravager, 
Lion, wolf fast holding of descent, 
The wild boar will not give back the town of his father. 
VOL. I. 2 G 


XI. Cyndylan ! while towards thee fled 
His heart, it was a great festival 
With him, like the press of the battle ! 

XII Cyndylan of Powys purple gallant is he ! 
The strangers' refuge, their life's anchor. 
Cub of Cyndrwyn, much to be lamented ! 

XIII. Cyndylan, fair son of Cyndrwyn, 

No fitting garb is the beard about the nose, 
Will a man be no better than a maid ? 

XIV. Cyndylan ! a cause of grief thou art 
Set forward will not be the array. 

Around the pressure of the covert of thy shield 

XV. Cyndylan, keep thou the slope 
Till the Iloegrians come to-day, 
Anxiety on account of one is not fitting. 

XVI. Cyndylan, keep thou the top 

TiU the Lloegrians come through Tren, 
Tis not called a wood for one tree ! 

XVII. My heart has great misery 

In joining together the black boards. 
Fair is the flesh of Cyndylan, the common grief of 
a hundred hosts ! 

XVIII. The Hall of Cyndylan is dark 

To-night, without fire, without bed ! 

I'll weep a while, afterwards I shall be silent. 


XIX. The Hall of Cyndylan is dark 

To-night, without fire, without candle ! 
Except God, who will give me patience ? 

XX. The Hall of Cyndylan is dark 

To-night, without fire, without light. 

Let there come spreading silence around thee ! 

XXI. The Hall of Cyndylan ! dark 

Its roof, after the fair assemblage ! 
Alas, it makes not well its end ! 

XXII. The Hall of Cyndylan ! art thou not 

Without seemliness ? in the grave is thy shield ! 
As long as he was living there was no break in the 

xxiiL The Hall of Cyndylan is forlorn 

To-night, since there has been no one owning it, 
Ah ! death will not leave me long ! 

xxrv. The HaU of Cyndylan is not pleasant 

To-night, on the top of Carrec Hytwyth, 
Without lord, without company, without feast ! 

XXV. The Hall of Cyndylan is gloomy 
To-night, without fire, without songs — 
Tears are the trouble of my cheeks ! 

XXVI. The Hall of Cyndylan is gloomy 
To-night, without family, 


XXVII. The Hall of Cyndylan pierces me 
To see it, without roof, without fire. 
Dead is my chief, myself alive ! 

XXVIII. The Hall of Cyndylan lies waste 
To-night, after warriors contended, 
Elvan, Cyndylan Caeawc ! 

XXIX. The Hall of Cyndylan is piercing cold 
To-night, after the honour that befel me. 
Without the men, without the women it sheltered. 

XXX. The Hall of Cyndylan is still 
To-night, after losing its elder. 
The great merciful God ! what shall I do ? 

XXXI. The Hall of Cyndylan ! dark is its roof 
Since the destruction by the Loegrians 
Cyndylan and Elvan of Powys. 

XXXII. The Hall of Cyndylan is dark 
To-night, of the children of Cyndrwyn, 
CjTion and Gwiawn and Gwyn. 

XXXIII. The Hall of Cyndylan pierces me 

Every hour, after the great gathering din at the fire 
"Which I saw at thy fire-hearth ! 

XXXIV. The eagle of Eli, loud his cry : 
He has swallowed fresh drink. 
Heart-blood of Cyndylan fair ! 

XXXV. The eagle of Eli screams aloud 

To-night, in the blood of fair men he wallows ! 
He is in the wood, a heavy grief to me ! 


XXXVI. The eagle of Eli I hear 

To-night, bloody is he, I defy not. 

He is in the wood, a heavy grief to me ! 

XXXVII. The eagle of Eli, let him afflict 

To-night the vale of illustrious Meissir, 
Brochwael's land, long let him affront it ! 

xxxviiL The eagle of Eli keeps the seas ; 

He will not course the fish in the Aber. 

Let him call, let him look out for the blood of men ! 

XXXIX. The eagle of Eli traverses 
The wood at dawn to feast, 
His greed, may his boldness prosper it ! 

XL. The eagle of Pengwern with the gray horn-beak. 
Very loud his echoing voice, 
Eager for the flesh. 

XLi. The eagle of Pengwern with the gray horn-beak. 
Very loud his call of defiance, 
Eager for the flesh of Cyndylan ! 

XLII. The eagle of Pengwern with the gray horn-beak. 
Very loud his clamour. 
Eager for the flesh of him I love ! 

XLiii. The eagle of Pengwern ! from afar is his call 
To-night, for the men of blood is his look-out. 
Truly will Tren be called the ruined town ! 

XLiv. The eagle of Pengwern ! from afar let him call 
To-night, for the blood of men let him look out, 
Truly will Tren be called the town of flame ! 


XLV. The churches of Bassa ! there rests 

To-night, there ends, there shrinks within himself, 
The shelter in battle, heart of the men of Argoed ! 

XLVi. The churches of Bassa are enriched 
To-night, my tongue hath done it ! 
Euddy are they, overflowing my grief ! 

XLVii. The churches of Bassa are close neighbouring 
To-night to the heir of Cyndrwyn, 
Graveyard of Cyndylan fair ! 

XLViii. The churches of Bassa are lovely 

To-night, their clover hath made them so, 
Euddy are they, overflowing my heart ! 

XLix. The churches of Bassa have lost their privilege 
Since the destruction by the Lloegrians 
Of Cyndylan and Elvan of Powys. 

L. The churches of Bassa are to make an end 
To-night ; the warriors are not to continue. 
He knows who knoweth all things, and I here 

LI. The churches of Bassa are still 
To-night, and I am to cry ! 
Euddy are they, overflowing is my lament. 

Lii. The White Town in the bosom of the wood ! 
There has ever been of its lustyhood, 
On the surface of the grass, the blood ! 



LHi. The White Town in the country side ! 
Its lustyhood, its gray thoughtfulness, 
The blood under the feet of its warriors ! 

Liv. The White Town in the valley ! 

Joyful its troop with the common spoil 
Of battle, its people, are they not gone ? 

LV. The White Town between Tren and Trodwyd ! 
More common was the broken shield 
Coming from battle than the evening ox. 

LVI. The White Town between Tren and Traval. 
More common was the blood 
On the surface of the grass than the ploughed fallow. 

Lvn. Alas, Ffreuer ! how sad is it 

To-night, after the loss of kindred. 

By the mishap of my tongue were they slain. 

LVin. Alas, Ffreuer ! how languid she is 
To-night, after the death of Elvan, 
And the eagle of Cyndrwyn, Cyndylan. 

Lix. It is not the death of Ffreuer that separates me 
To-night from the enjoyment of the social circle. 
I will keep awake, I will early weep. 

LX. It is not the death of Ffreuer that pierces me with pain. 
From the beginning of night till midnight 
1 wUl keep awake, I wUl weep with the dawn. 

LXi. It is not the death of Ffreuer that stares me 
To-night, and causes my cheeks to be yellow. 
And the red tears to flow over the bedside. 


Lxn. It is not the death of Ffreuer that I am tonnented 
To-night, but myself, being feebly sick. 
My brothers and my country I mourn. 

LXin. Fair Ffreuer ! there are brothers who cherish thee. 
And who have not sprung from the imgenerous ; 
They are men who cherish no timidity. 

LXiv. Fair Ffreuer ! to thee have been brothers ; 
When they heard the meeting of armies 
Their confidence would not fail them. 

LXV. I and Ffreuer and Median, 

While there may be battle in every place, 
Are not concerned if our side be not slain. 

Lxvi. The mountain, were it still higher 

I will not covet, there to lead my life. 
Light of valuable things is my clothing. 

LXVii. Parallel with the Avaerwy, 

The Tren enters the Trydonwy, 

And the Twrch falls into the Marchnwy. 

LXViiL Parallel with the Elwydden, 

The Trydonwy flows into the Tren, 
And the Geirw flows into the Alwen. 

LXix. Before my covering was made of the hide 
Of the hardy goat, intent I was on carnage ; 
I was made drunk with the mead of Bryum. 


Lxx. Before my covering was made of the hide 

Of the hardy goat, the young goat to the holly, 
I was made drunk with the mead of Tren. 

Lxxi. After my brethren from the region of the Hafren, 
And about the two banks of the Dwyry w, 
Woe is me, God, that I am alive ! 

LXXIL After well-trained horses and garments of ruddy 
And the waving yellow plumes, 
Slender is my leg, a covering is not left me. 

Lxxiii. The cattle of Edeyrniawn went not astray. 
And with none did they go away. 
In the lifetime of Gorwynion, a man of Uchnant. 

Lxxiv, The cattle of Edeyrniawn went not astray, 
And with none did they wander, 
In the lifetime of Gowrynion, a man . . . 
Reproach is known to the herdsman. 
The price is shame and refusal. 
On such as come to disgrace it will befall. 
I know what is good. 
The blood of one hero for another. 

Lxxv. Were it the wife of Gyrthmwl, she would be languid 
This day ; loud would be her scream ; 
She would deplore the loss of her heroes. 

Lxxvi. The soil of Ercal is on courageous men, 
On the progeny of Moryal, 
And after Eys gi*eat lamentation. 


Lxxvii. The hawk of Heledd calls unto me 

" God ! why is it that to thee have been given 
The horses of my country and their land ? " 

Lxxvili. The hawk of Heledd will greet me 

" God ! why is it that to thee are given the dark- 
coloured harness 
Of Cyndylan and his forty horses?" 

Lxxix. Have I not gazed with my eyes on pleasant land 
From the conspicuous seat of Gorwynion ? 
Long the course of the run, longer my recollection. 

Lxxx. Have I not gazed from Dinlle 

Wrecon on the patrimony of Ffreuer, 
With grief for its social enjoyment? 

Lxxxi. A horseman from a Caer below, 
He was slow in his complaints. 
A man of Sannair — 

Lxxxii. Slain were my brothers all at once — 
Cynan, Cyndylan, Cynwraith — 
In defending Tren, a town laid waste. 

Lxxxiii. A tribe would not tread on the nest 

Of Cynddylan ; he would never flinch a foot ; 
His mother nursed no weakling son. 

Lxxxiv. Brethren I have had who never were dejected. 
Who grew up like hazel saplings ; 
One by one, they are all gone. 



Lxxxv. Brethren I have had whom God has taken 
From me ; my misfortime caused it. 
They would not purchase glory by false means. 

LXXXVI. Thin the gale, thick the rumour, 

Sweet the furrows; thou that made them remain not; 
Those who have been are no more. 

Lxxxvii. What is heard by God and man, 
What is heard by young and old. 
Disgrace of beards, let the flier loose. 

Lxxxviii. While it lives the flier will fly 

With garments waiting for the battlefield, 
And with blue blades the chief was enlivened. 

Lxxxix, I wonder the bright fort is no more 
After its defenders notoriously skilful 
In the lair of the boar there is breaking of pignuts. 

xc. They are neither mist nor smoke, 
Nor warriors in mutual defence. 
In a meadow slaughter is bad. 

xci. I listened in the meadow to the clatter of shields. 
A fortress is no restraint to the mighty, 
The best of men, Caranmael. 

xcii. Caranmael, pressure there is on thee ; 
I know thy retreat from battle. 
A mark is wont on the brow of a combatant. 

xcilL Accustomed to exert a liberal hand, 

The son of Cyndylan, retainer of praise. 
The last man of Cyndrwyn, Caranmael. 


xciv. Devoid of zeal was he, 

And his patrimony was sequestrated. 
Who sought Caranmael for a judge. 

xcv. Caranmael, intimate with exertion. 
Son of Cyndylan of ready fame, 
Was not a judge, though he would wist to be. 

xcvi. Where Caranmael put on the corselet of Cyndylan, 
And pushed forward his ashen spear, 
A Frank should not deprive him of his head. 

xcvii. The time when I fared on rich viands 
I would not lift my thigh 
For a man that complained of a sore disease. 

XCVUL Brothers I also have had 

That would not complain of pestilential diseases : 
One was Elvan, Cyndylan another. 

xcix. Hair is not gracefully worn, is it not becoming 
A man in the heat of conflict ? 
My brethren were not clamorous. 

c. But for death and its fearful afflictions, 
And the pang of the blue blades, 
I win not be clamorous either. 

CI. The plain of Maodyn, is it not covered with frost ? 
Since the destruction of him who was of benevolent 

On the grave of Eiiinwed thick the snow. 


cii. The mound of Elwyddan, is it not drenched with 
And the plain of Maodyn below it ? 
Cynon ought to deplore him. 

cm. Four equal brothers to me have been, 
And each was the head of a family. 
Tren knows to itself no owner. 

CIV. Four equal brothers to me have been. 
And to each chief there was vigour. 
Tren knows no congenial owner. 

cv. Four equal courageous and comely 

Brothers to me have been from Cyndrwyn. 
There is not to Tren the possession of enjoyment. 

cvi. Fly thee hence, and array thyself ; 

Thou art not wont to rise with the dawn. 
Am I not wounded by a spike from the corner of 
thy bag ? 

cvii. Fly thee hence and hide thyself ; 
Thou art not of sinless conversation. 
Prostration is useless, thy creeping will cause a noise. 




A Dialogue between Myrdin and his sister 


red book of HERGEST I. 
Text, vol. ii. p. 218. Notes, vol. ii. p. 423. 

L 2IE have come to thee to tell 

Of the jurisdiction I have in the North ; 

The beauty of every region has been described to me. 

XL Since the action of Ardderyd and Erydon, 
Gwendydd, and all that will happen to me, 
Dull of understanding, to what place of festivity shaU Igo? 

III. I wUl address my twin-brother 
Mjrrdin, a wise man and a diviner, 

Since he is accustomed to make disclosures 
"When a maid goes to him. 

IV. I shaU become the simpleton's song : 

It is the ominous'belief of the C3miry. The gale intimates 
That the standard of Kydderch Hael is unobstructed. 

V. Though Rydderch has the pre-eminence, 
And all the Cymry under him, 

Yet, after him, who will come ? 



VI. Rydderch Hael, the feller of the foe, 
Dealt his stabs among them, 
In the day of bliss at the ford of Tawy. 

VII. Rydderch Hael, while he is the enemy 

Of the city of the bards in the region of the Clyd ; 
Where will he go to the ford ? 

VIII. I will tell it to Gwendydd. 

Since she has addressed me skilfully, 

The day after to-morrow Rydderch Hael will not be. 

IX. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother. 
The intrepid in battle. 

After Rydderch who will be ? 

X. As Gwenddoleu was slain in the blood-spilling of Ardderyd, 

And I have come from among the furze, 
Morgant Mawr, the son of Sadymin. 

XI. I will ask my far-famed brother, 

The fosterer of song among the streams, 
Who will rule after Morgant ? 

XII. As Gwenddoleu was slain in the bloodshed of Ardderyd, 
And I wonder why I should be perceived, 
The cry of the country to Urien. 

xilL Thy head is of the colour of winter hoar ; 
God has relieved thy necessities ; 
Who will rule after Urien ? 

XIV. Heaven has brought a heavy affliction 
On me, and I am ill at last ; 
Maelgwn Hir over the land of Gwynedd. 


XV. From parting with my brother pines away 

My heart, poor is my aspect along my furrowed cheek ; 
Now, after Maelgwn, who will rule ? 

XVI. Eun is his name, impetuous in the gushing conflict ; 
And fighting in the van of the army. 
The woe of Prydein of the day ! 

xvn. Since thou art a companion and canon 

Of Cunllaith, which with great expense we support, 
To whom will Gwynedd go after Eun ? 

xviii. Eun his name, renowned in war ; 

What I predict will surely come to pass, 
Gwendydd, the country will be in the hand of Beli. 

XIX. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother. 
Intrepid in difficulties, 
Who will rule after Beli ? 

XX. Since my reason is gone with ghosts of the mountain. 
And I myself am pensive, 
After Beli, his son lago. 

XXI. Since thy reason is gone with ghosts of the mountain, 
And thou thyself art pensive. 
Who will rule after lago ? 

xxiL He that comes before me with a lofty mien, 
Moving to the social banquet ; 
After lago, his son Cadvan ? 

xxiiL The songs have fully predicted 

That one of universal fame will come ; 
Who will rule after Cadvan ? 


XXIV. The country of the brave Cadwallawn, 

The four quarters of the world shall hear of it ; 
The heads of the Angles will fall to the ground, 
And there will be a world to admire it. 

XXV. Though I see thy cheek so direful, 
It comes impulsively to my mind, 
Who will rule after Cadwallawn ? 

XXVI. A tall man holding a conference. 
And Prydein under one sceptre, 
The best son of Cymro, Cadwaladyr. 

XXVII. He that comes before rae mildly, 
His abilities, are they not worthless? 
After Cadwaladyr, Idwal. 

XXVIII. I will ask thee mildly, 

Far-famed, and best of men on earth, 
Who will rule after Idwal ? 

XXIX. There will rule after Idwal, 

In consequence of a dauntless one being called forth, 
White-shielded Howel, the son of Cadwal. 

XXX. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother. 
The intrepid in war, 
Who will rule after Howel ? 

XXXI. I will tell his illustrious fame, 
Gwendydd, before I part from thee ; 
After Howel, Rodri. 

XXXII. Cynan in Mona will be, 

He will not preserve his rights ; 
VOL. I. 2 H 


And before the son of Eodri may be called, 
The son of Cealedigan will be. 

XXXIII. I will ask on account of the world, 
And answer thou me gently ; 
Who will rule after Cynan ? 

XXXIV. Since Gwenddoleu was slain in the bloodshed of 
Ardderyd, thou art filled with dismay ; 
Mervyn Vrych from the region of Manaw. 

XXXV. I will ask my brother renowned in fame, 
Lucid his song, and he the best of men, 
Who will rule after Mervyn ? 

XXXVI. I will declare, from no malevolence. 

The oppression of Prydein, but from concern ; 
After Mervyn, Rodri Mawr. 

xxxvii. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother, 
Intrepid in the day of the war-shout ; 
Who will rule after the son of Eodri Mawr ? 

xxxvni. On the banks of the Conwy in the conflict of 
Admired will be the eloquence 
Of the hoary sovereign Anarawd. 

xxxDL I will address my far-famed twin-brother. 
Intrepid in the day of mockery, 
Who wiU rule after Anarawd ? 

XL. The next is nearer to the time 
Of unseen messengers ; 
The sovereignty in the hand of Howel. 


XLi. The Borderers have not been, 

And will not be nearer to Paradise. 

An order from a kiln is no worse than from a church. 

XLii. I will ask my beloved brother, 

Whom I have seen celebrated in fame, 
Who will rule after the Borderers ? 

XLIIL A year and a half to loquacious 

Barons, whose lives shall be shortened ; 
Every careless one will be disparaged. 

XLiv. Since thou art a companion and canon of Cunllaith, 
The mercy of God to thy soul ! 
WTio will rule after the Barons ? 

XLV. A single person will arise from obscurity, 
Who will not preserve his countenance ; 
Cynan of the dogs will possess Cymry. 

XLVI. I will ask thee on account of the world, 
Answer thou me gently, 
Who will rule after Cynan ? 

XLVii. A man from a distant foreign country ; 
They will batter impregnable Caers ; 
They say a king from a baron. 

XLViii. I will ask on account of the world, 
Since thou knowest the meaning ; 
Who wiU rule after the Baron ? 

XLix. I will foretell of Serven Wyn, 

A constant white-shielded messenger, 

Brave, and strong like a white encircled prison ; 


He will traverse the countries of treacherous sovereigns ; 
And they wiU tremble before him as far as Prydein. 

L. I will ask my blessed brother, 
For it is I that is inquiring it, 
Who wiU rule after Serven Wyn? 

LI. Two white-shielded Belis 

Will then come and cause tumult ; 
Golden peace will not be. 

LII. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother, 
Intrepid among the Cymry, 
Who will rule after the two white-shielded Belis ? 

Liii. A single passionate one with a beneficent mien. 
Counselling a battle of defence ; 
Who will rule before the extermination ? 

Liv. I wiU ask my far-famed twin-brother, 
Intrepid in the battle, 
Who is the single passionate one 
That thou predictest then ? 
What his name ? what is he ? when will he come ? 

LV. Gruffyd his name, vehement and handsome : 

It is natural that he should throw lustre on his kindred ; 
He wiU rule over the land of Prydein. 

LVi. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother. 
Intrepid in battles, 
Who shall possess it after Gruffyd ? 

LVii. I will declare from no malevolence, 

The oppression of Prydein, but from concern ; 
After Gruffyd, Gwyn Gwarther. 


LVIIL I will ask my far-famed twin-brother. 
The intrepid in war, 
Who will rule after Gwyn Gwarther ? 

Lix, Alas ! fair Gwendydd, great is the prognostication of 

the oracle, 
And the tales of the Sybil ; 
Of an odious stock will be the two Idases ; 
For land they will be admired; from their jurisdiction, 

long animosity. 

LX. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother, 
Intrepid in the battles, 
Who will rule after them ? 

LXI. I will predict that no youth will venture ; 
A king, a lion with unflinching hand, 
Gylvin Gevel with a wolf's grasp. 

Lxn, I wiU ask my profound brother, 

Whom I have seen tenderly nourished, 
After that who will be sovereign ? 

LXiii. To the multiplicity of the number of the stars 
Will his retinue be compared ; 
He is Mackwy Dau Hanner. 

LXiv. I win ask my unprotected brother. 

The key of difficulty, the benefit of a lord — 
Who will rule after Dau Hanner ? 

Lxv. There will be a mixture of the Gwyddelian tongue in 
the battle, 
With the Cymro, and a fierce conflict ; 
He is the lord of eight chief Caers. 



Lxvi. I will ask my pensive brother. 
Who has read the book of Cado, 
Who wUl rule after him ? 

Lxvn, I say that he is from Eeged, 

Since I am solemnly addressed ; 
The whelp of the iUiistrious Henri, 
Never in his age will there be deliverance. 

LXVin. I will ask my brother renowned in fame, 
Undaunted among the Cymry, 
Who will rule after the son of Henri ? 

LXix. When there will be a bridge on the Tav, and another 
on the Tywi, 
Confusion will come upon Iloegyr, 
And I will predict after the son of Henri, 
Such and such a king and troublous times will be. 

Lxx. I will ask my blessed brother, 
For it is I that is inquiring, 
Who will rule after such and such a king ? 

Lxxi. A silly king will come, 

And the men of Lloegyr will deceive him ; 
There will be no prosperity of country under him. 

Lxxii. Myrdin fair, of fame-conferring song, 
Wrathful in the world, 
What will be in the age of the foolish one ? 

Lxxm, When Lloegyr will be groaning. 
And Cymir fuU of malignity, 
An army will be moving to and fro. 


Lxxiv. Myrdin fair, gifted in speech, 
Tell me no falsehood ; 
What will be after the army ? 

Lxxv. There will arise one out of the six 

That have long been in concealment ; 
Over Lloegyr he will have the mastery. 

Lxxvi. Myrdin fair, of fame-conferring stock, 
Let the wind turn inside the house. 
Who will rule after that ? 

Lxxvil. It is established that Owein should come, 
And conquer as far as London, 
To give the Cymry glad tidings. 

Lxxvili. Myrdin fair, most gifted and most famed, 
For thy word I will believe, 
Owein, how long will he continue ? 

LXXix. Gwendydd, listen to a rumour. 
Let the wind turn in the valley, 
Five years and two, as in time of yore. 

Lxxx. I will ask my profound brother, 

Whom I have seen tenderly nourished. 
Who will thence be sovereign ? 

LXXXL When Owein will be in Manaw, 
And a battle in Prydyn close by, 
There will be a man with men under him. 

Lxxxn. I will ask my profound brother. 

Whom I have seen tenderly nourished. 
After that who will be sovereign ? 


Lxxxiii. A ruler of good breeding and good will he be, 
Will conquer the land, 
And the country will be happy with joy. 

Lxxxiv. I will ask my profound brother. 

Whom I have seen tenderly nourished, 
After that who will be sovereign ? 

Lxxxv. Let there be a cry in the valley 

Beli Hir and his men like the whirlwind ; 
Blessed be the Cymry, woe to the Gynt. 

Lxxxvi. I will ask my far-famed twin-brother, 
Intrepid in battles, 
After Beli who will be the possessor ? 

Lxxxvii, Let there be a cry in the Aber, 

Beli Hir and his numerous troops ; 
Blessed be the Cymry, woe to the Gwyddyl. 

Lxxxvm. I will address my farfamed twin-brother 
Intrepid in war ; 
Why woe to the Gwyddyl ? 

Lxxxix. I will predict that one prince wiU be 
Of Gwynedd, after your affliction ; 
You wiU have a victory over every nation. 

xc. The canon of Morvryn, how united to us 
Was Myrdin Vrych with the powerful host, 
What will happen until the wish be accomplished ? 

xci. When Cadwaladyr will descend, 

Having a large united host with him, 


On Wednesday to defend the men of Gwynedd, 
Then will come the men of Caer Gamwedd. 

XCII. Do not separate abruptly from me, 
From a dislike to the conference ; 
In what part will Cadwaladyr descend ? 

xciii. When Cadwaladyr descends 
Into the valley of the Tywi, 
Hard pressed will be the Abers 
And the Brython will disperse the Brithwyr. 

xciv. I will ask my profound brother, 

Whom I have seen tenderly nourished ; 
Who will rule from thenceforth ? 

xcv. When a boor will know three languages 

In Mona, and his son be of honourable descent, 
Gwynedd will be heard to be abounding in riches. 

XCVT. Who will drive Lloegyr from the borders 
Of the sea, who will move upon Dyved ? 
And as to the Cymry, who will succour them? 

xcvii. The far-extended rout and tumult of Eydderch, 
And the armies of Cadwaladyr, 
Above the river Tardennin, 
Broke the key of men. 

xcviii. Do not separate abruptly from me, 
From dislike to the conference, 
What death will carry off Cadwaladyr ? 

xcix. He wUl be pierced by a spear from the strong 


Of a ship, and a hand before the evening ; 
The day will be a disgrace to the Cymry. 

c. Do not separate abruptly from me 
From dislike to the conference, 
How long will Cadwaladyr reign? 

CI. Three months and three long years. 
And full three hundred years 
With occasional battles, he will rule. 

ciL Do not separate abruptly from me 
From dislike to the conference, 
Who will rule after Cadwaladyr ? 

cm. To Gwendydd I will declare ; 
Age after age I will predict; 
After Cadwaladyr, Cynda. 

CIV. A hand upon the sword, another upon the cross, 
Let every one take care of his life ; 
With Cyndav there is no reconciliation. 

cv. I will foretell that there will be one prince 
Of Gwynedd, after your affliction, 
You will overcome every nation. 

cvi. And as to the tribe of the children of Adam, 
Who have proceeded from his flesh, 
Will their freedom extend to the judgment ? 

evil. From the time the Cymry shall be without the aid 
Of battle, and altogether without keeping their mien, 
It will be impossible to say who will be ruler. 



cvni. Gwendydd, the delicately fair, 

The first will be the most puissant in Prydein ; 
Lament, ye wretched Cymry ! 

cix. When extermination becomes the highest duty. 
From the sea to the shoreless land, 
Say, lady, that the world is at an end. 

ex. And after extermination becomes the highest 
Who will there be to keep order ? 
Will there be a church, and a portion for a priest ? 

CXI. There wiU be no portion for priest nor minstrel, 
Nor repairing to the altar. 
Until the heaven falls to the earth. 

cxiL My twin-brother, since thou hast answered me, 
Myrdin, son of Morvryn the skilful. 
Sad is the tale thou hast uttered. 

cxin. I will declare to Gwendydd, 

For seriously hast thou inquired of me, 
Extermination, lady, will be the end. . . . j 

cxiv. What I have hitherto predicted 
To Gwendydd, the idol of princes. 
It will come to pass to the smallest tittle. 

cxv. Twin-brother, since these things will happen to 
Even for the souls of thy brethren, 
What sovereign after him will be ? 


cxvi. Gwendydd fair, the chief of courtesy, 
I will seriously declare. 
That never shall be a sovereign afterwards. 

cxvii. Alas ! thou dearest, for the cold separation. 
After the coming of tumult, 
That by a sovereign brave and fearless 
Thou shouldst be placed under earth. 

cxviii. The air of heaven will scatter 

Rash resolution, which deceives, if believed : 
Prosperity until the judgment is certain. 

cxix. By thy dissolution, thou tenderly nourished. 
Am I not left cheerless ? 

A delay will be good destiny when wiU be given 
Praise to him who tells the truth. 


cxx. From thy retreat arise, and unfold 
The books of Awen without fear ; 
And the discourse of a maid, and the repose of a 

cxxi. Dead is Morgeneu, dead Cyvrennin 

Moryal. Dead is Moryen, the bulwark of battle ; 
The heaviest grief is, Myrdin, for thy destiny. 

cxxii. The Creator has caused me heavy affliction ; 
Dead is Morgeneu, dead is Mordav, 
Dead is Moryen, I wish to die. 

cxxiii. My only brother, chide me not ; 

Since the battle of Ardderyd I am ill ; 


It is instruction that I seek ; 
To God I commend thee. 

cxxiv. I, also, commend thee, 

To the Chief of all creatures 
Gwendydd fair, the refuge of songs. 

cxxv. The songs too long have tarried 

Concerning universal fame to come ; 
Would to God they had come to pass ! 

cxxvi. Gwendydd, be not dissatisfied ; 

Has not the burden been consigned to the earth ? 
Every one must give up what he loves. 

cxxvii. While I live, I will not forsake thee, 

And untn the judgment will bear thee in mind ; 
Thy entrenchment is the heaviest calamity. 

cxxviii. Swift is the steed, and free the wind ; 
I will commend my blameless brother 
To God, the supreme Euler ; 
Partake of the communion before thy death. 

cxxix. I will not receive the communion 
From excommunicated monks. 
With their cloaks on their hips ; 
May God himself give me communion ! 

cxxx. I will commend my blameless 
Brother in the supreme Caer ; 
May God take care of Myrdin ! 


cxxxi. I, too, will commend my blameless 
Sister in the supreme Caer ; — 
May God take care of Gwendydd. Amen ! 


A Fugitive Poem of Myedin in his Gra.vk 

Text, vol. ii. p. 234. Notes, vol. ii p. 428. 

I, J^ltlHE man that speaks from the grave 
Has been instructed that before seven years, 
The horse of Eurdein of the North will die. 

II. I have quaffed wine from a bright glass 
With the lords of fierce war ; 
My name is Myrdin, son of Morvryn. 

III. I have quaffed wine from a goblet 
With the lords of devouring war ; 
Myrdin is my deserving name. 

IV. When opposition will come upon a black wheel. 
To destroy Lloegyr of exhausted course, 

Bitter will be their enmity in defending 

The White Mount ; at the White Mount distress there 

wiU be, 
And long regret to the nation of the Cymry. 

V. There wiU be no protection in the recesses of Ardudwy, 
In the maritime region of the Cymry, 
From the renowned Boar of the intrepid host. 

VI. When the red one of Normandy will come 

To charge the Uoegrians with enormous expense, 


There will be a tax upon every prediction, 
And a castle at Aber Hodni. 

VII. When the strong-freckled one will come 
As far as Eyd Bengarn, 

Men will be disgraced, hilts worn out : 
The chief noble of Prydein will be their chief in 

VIII. When Henri will come to claim 
Mur Castell on the border of Eryri, 
Disturbance beyond sea will call him. 

IX. When the pale weak one will come to claim London, 
Upon unhandsome horses. 
He will call forth the lordship of Caergein. 

X. Scarce the acorns, thick the com. 
When there will suddenly appear 

A king, a youth, woe to such as tremble ! 

XI. There will be a youth of great renown. 
Who will conquer a thousand cities ; 

like the life of tender shoots will be that of the king 
from a youth. 

XII. Strong towards the weak will he be, 
Weak towards the strong of the uplands ; — 
A ruler from whose coming worse it will fare. 

XIII. There will be a state when they will delight in 

When women will be a soft herd, 
And a host of young children at confession. 


XIV. There will be a state when they will delight in order ; 
Even the churl will do a good turn ; 

The maid wiU be handsome, and the youth resolute. 

XV. There will be a state towards the end of the age, 
When from adversity the young wiU fail. 

And in May cuckoos die of cold. 

XVL There will be a state when they will delight in 
And build in intricate places ; 
And a shirt without great cost cannot be obtained. 

xviL There will be a state when they will delight in oaths ; 
Vice will be active, and churches neglected ; 
Words as well as relics will be broken, 
Truth will disappear, and falsehood spread ; 
Faith will be weak, and disputings on alternate days. 

XVIII. There will be a state when they will delight in clothes ; 
The counsellor of a lord will be a vagrant of a bailiff ; 
Empty-handed the bard, gay the priest ; 
Men will be despised, refusals frequent. 

XIX. There wiU be a state without wind, without rain, 

Without too much ploughing, without too much con- 
Land enough will one acre be for nine. 

XX. When the men will come without manliness. 
And com grow in the place of trees, 
In peace everywhere feasts will be prevalent. 

XXI. When the cubit shall be held in esteem, trees in spring 
There will be after the chief of mischief : 
Let the cowhouse post be worse than a coulter. 



XXII. Wednesday, a day of enmity, 
Blades will be completely worn out ; 

They will conceal two in the blood of Cynghen, 

XXIII. In Aber Sor there will be a council 

On men after the devastation of battle, • 
A happy ruler is a leader in the camp. 

XXIV. In Aber Avon wiU be the host of Mona, 
And Angles after that will be at Hinwedon ; 
His valour will Moryon long preserve. 

XXV. In Aber Dwvyr the leader will not hold out. 

When that which will be performed by Gwidig will 

take place, 
And after the battle of Cyvarllug. 

XXVI. A battle wiU be on the river Byrri, 
And the Brython wiU be victorious ; 
The men of Gwhyr will perform acts of heroism. 

XXVII. In Aber Don a battle will ensue, 
And the shafts will be unequal, 
And crimson blood on the brow of Saxons. 
Servile is thy cry, thou Gwendydd ! 
Have told it me the ghosts 
Of the mountain, in Aber Carav. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 1 7. Notes, vol. ii. p. 334. 

I. J^LESSED is the birch in the vaUey of the Gwy, 
Whose branches will fall off one by one, two by two. 
It will remain when there will be a battle in Ardudwy, 
VOL. I. 2 I 


And the lowing together of cattle about the ford of 

And spears and shouting at Dyganwy, 
And Edwin bearing sway in Mona, 
And youths pale and light 
In ruddy clothes commanding them. 

II. Blessed is the birch in Pumlumon, 

Which will see when the front of the stag shall be exalted, 
And which will see the Franks clad in mail, 
And about the hearth food for whelps, 
And monks frequently riding on steeds. 

III. Blessed is the birch in the heights of Dinwythwy, 

Which will know when there shall be a battle in Ardudwy, 
And spears uplifted around Edrywy, 
And a bridge on the Taw, and another on the Tawy, 
And another, on account of a misfortune, on the two 

banks of the Gwy, 
And the artificer that will make it, let his name be Garwy ; 
And may the principal of Mona have dominion over it. 
Women will be under the Gynt, and men in affliction. 
Happier than I is he who will welcome 
The time of Cadwaladyr : a song he may sing ! 


Text, vol. ii. p. 21. Notes, vol. ii. p. 338. 

I. J^ISTEN, O little pig ! thou happy little pig ! 
Bury not thy snout on the top of the mountain ; 
Burrow in a secluded place in the woods, 
For fear of the hunting dogs of Eydderch, the champion 
of the faith. 


And I will prognosticate, and it will be true, 

As far as Aber Taradyr, before the usurpers of Prydein, 

All the Cymry will be under the same warlike leader ; 

His name is Lly welyn, of the line 

Of Gwynedd, one who will overcome. 

II. Listen, little pig ! it is necessary to go, 
For fear of the hunters of Mordei, if one dared, 
Lest we be pursued and discovered ; 
And should we escape, I shall not complain of fatigue. 
And I will predict, in respect of the ninth wave. 
And in respect of the single white-bearded person, who 

exhausted Dyved, 
Who erected a chancel in the land for those of partial 

In the upland region, and among wild beasts. 
Until Cynan comes to it, to see its distress, 
Her habitations will never be restored. 

III. Listen, O little pig ! I cannot easily sleep, 

On account of the tumult of grief which is upon me ; 

Ten years and forty have I endured pain ; 

Evil is the joy which I now have. 

May life be given me by Jesus, the most tnistworthy 

Of the kings of heaven, of highest lineage ! 

It will not be well with the female descendants of Adam, 

If they believe not in God, in the latter day. 

I have seen Gwenddoleu, with the precious gifts of princes, 

Gathering prey from every extremity of the land; 

Beneath my gi-een sod is he not still ! 

The chief of sovereigns of the North, of mildest disposition. 

IV. Listen, little pig ! it was necessary to pray. 
For fear of the five sovereigns from Normandi ; 
And the fifth going over the salt sea. 


To conquer Ivverdon with its pleasant towns ; 

He will cause war and confusion, 

And ruddy arms and groanings in it. 

And they, certainly, will come from it, 

And do honour on the grave of Dewi. 

And I will predict that there will be confusion 

From the fighting of son and father, the country shall 

know it ; 
And that there will be to the Iloegrians the falling of cities, 
And that deliverance will never be to Normandi. 

V. Listen, little pig ! be not drowsy ; 
There comes to us a sad report 
Of petty chieftains full of perjury 
And husbandmen that are close-fisted of the penny. 
When there shall come over the sea men completely 

covered with armour, 
With war-horses under them, having two faces. 
And two points on their terribly destructive spears ; 
There will be ploughing without reaping in the world of 

The grave wiU be better than life to all the wretched ; 
Horns will be on the women of the four quarters ; 
When the vigorous young men shall become corpses. 
There will be a severe morning in Caer Sallawg. 

VI. Listen, little pig ! thou pig of peace ! 
A Sibyl has told me a wonderful tale ; 
And I will predict a summer full of fury. 
Between brothers, treachery from Gw}Tiedd. 
When a pledge of peace shall long be required from the 

land of Gwynedd, 
There shall come seven hundred ships of the G3Tit with 

the north wind ; 
And in Aber Dau their conference will be. 


VII. Listen, O little pig ! thou blessed little pig ! 
A Sibyl has told me a tale which frightens me ; 
When Iloegyr shall encamp in the land of Ethlin, 
And make Dyganwy a strong fort, 
By the ... of Uoegyr and Llywelyu, 
There will be a child on the shoulders .... 

When Deinoel, the son of Dunawd Deinwyn, becomes 

The Frank shall flee the way he does not seek ; 
In Aber Dulas their support will be exhausted. 
Of a ruddy hue wiU be their garments around them. 

VIII. Listen, little pig ! listen to the calls for attention ! 
For the crime of the necessitous God will make 

what is becoming, be it mine, 
And what is . . . let him seek. 

IX. Listen, little pig ! it is broad daylight. 

Hark thou to the song of water-birds whose notes are 

To us there will be years and long days, 
And iniquitous rulers, and the blasting of fruit, 
And bishops sheltering thieves, churches desecrated. 
And monks who will compensate for loads of sins. 

X. Listen, little pig ! penetrate into Gwynedd ; 
Have a partner when thou goest to rest. 
Little does Eydderch Hael know to-night at his feast 
What sleeplessness last night I bore. 
The snow was up to my knee, owing to the wariness of 

the chief. 
Icicles hung to my hair ; sad is my fate ! 


Tuesday will come, the day of fierce anger. 
Between the ruler of Powys, and the region of Gwynedd. 
When the beam of light will arise from its long repose, 
And defend from its enemy the frontiers of Gwynedd. 
Unless my Maker will grant me a share of his mercy, 
Woe to me that I have existed, miserable will be my end ! 

XI. Listen, O little pig ! utter not a whisper, 

When the host of war marches from Caermarthen, 

To support, in the common cause, two whelps 

Of the line of Kys, the stay of battle, the warlike 

commander of armies, 
When the Saxon shall be slain in the conflict of 

Blessed will be the lot of Cymry, the people of Cymrwy. 

XJI. Listen, O little pig ! blessed little pig of the country ! 

Do not sleep in the morning, burrow not in the fertile 

Lest Kydderch Hael and his cunning dogs should 

And before thou couldst reach the wood, thy perspira- 
tion trickled down. 

XIII. Listen, O little pig ! thou blessed pig ! 

Hadst thou seen as much severe oppression as I have. 
Thou wouldst not sleep in the morning, nor burrow on 

the hill. 
When the Saxons repose from their serpent cunning. 
And the castle of Collwyn is resorted to from afar. 
Clothes will be smart, and the black pool clear. 

XIV. Listen, O little pig ! hear thou now ; 

When the men of Gwynedd lay down their grejit work, 
Blades will be in hands, horns will be sounded, 


Armour will be broken before sharp lances. 

And I will predict that two rightful princes 

Will produce peace from heaven to earth — 

Cynan, Cadwaladyr, thorough Cymry. 

May their councils be admired. 

The laws of the country, and the exclusion of troubles, 

And the abolition of armies and theft ; 

And to us then there shall be a relief after our ills, 

And from generosity none will be excluded. 

XV. Listen, little pig ! is not the mountain green ? 
My cloak is thin ; for me there is no repose ; 
Pale is my visage ; Gwendydd does not come to me. 
When the men of Brjmeich will bring their army to 

the shore, 
Cymry will conquer, glorious will be their day. 

XVI. Listen, little pig ! thou brawny pig ! 
Bury not thy snout, consume not Mynwy ; 
Love no pledge, love no play. 
And an advice I will give to Gwenabwy, 
** Be not an amorous youth given to wanton play." 
And I will predict the battle of Machawy, 
When there will be ruddy spears in the Eiw Dydmwy, 
From the contention of chieftains ; breast will heave on 

the saddles ; 
There wiU be a morning of woe, and a woeful visitation ; 
A bear from Deheubarth will arise, 
His men wiU spread over the land of Mynwy. 
Blessed is the lot that awaits Gwendydd, 
When the Prince of Dyved comes to rule, 

XVII. Listen, little pig ! are not the buds of thorns 

Very green, the mountain beautiful, and beautiful the 
eai'th ? 


And I will predict the battle of Coed Ilwyvein, 

And ruddy biers from the attack of Owein, 

When stewards shall make short disputes, 

When there will be perjury and treachery amongst the 

children of the land ; 
And when Cadwaladyr comes to conquer 
Mona, the Saxons shall be extirpated from lovely 


xviii. Listen, little pig ! great wonders 

Will be in Prydein, and I shall not be concerned ; 
When come the inhabitants of the regions about 
Mona to question the Brython, there will be troublesome 

times ; 
A successful leader will uplift radiant spears, 
Stout Cynan, appearing from the banks of the Teiwi, 
Will cause confusion in Dyved ; 
May there be to him for riches melody in it ! 

XIX. Listen, little pig ! how wonderful it is 

That the world is never long in the same condition ! 
How far the Saxons proclaim the cause of strife 
With the generous Brython, the sons of trouble ! 
And I will predict before the end 
The Brython uppermost of the Saxons ; the Picts say it ; 
And then will come upon us the spirit of joyfuhiess. 
After having long been of a tardy disposition. 

XX. Listen, little pig ! hear thou the melody 
And chirping of birds by Caer Eeon. 
One I have that I would place on Mynydd Maon, 
To view the comely forms of the lovely ones. 
And I will predict a battle on the wave, 
And the battle of Machawy, and a battle on a river. 


And the battle of Cors Voclino, and the battle of Minron, 
And the battle of Cymminawd, and the battle of 

And the battle of Abergwaith, and the battle of leithion ; 
And when there shall be an end of music at the land's 

A child will arise, and good there will be to the Brython. 

XXI. Listen, O little pig ! a period will come. 

How miserable that it should come, but come it will ! 
Maids will be bold, and wives wanton ; 
They will love, but will not revere their kindred ; 
• Liberal will not the prosperous be towards one another. 
Bishops will be of a different language, worthless, and 

XXII. Listen, little pig ! thou little speckled one ! 
List to the voice of sea-birds, great is their energy! 
Minstrels will be out, without their appropriate portion ; 
Though they stand at the door, a reward will not come, 
I was told by a sea-gull that had come from afar. 
That strange sovereigns will make their appearance ; 
Gwyddyl, and Brython, and Eomani 

Will create discord and confusion. 

And in the name of gods will come into it. 

And vigorously fight on both banks of the Tywl 

XXIII. Listen, O little pig! thou stout-armed little one! 
Hark to the voice of sea-birds, whose clamour is great. 
Minstrels will be out, without an honourable portion. 
There will be repugnance to hospitality ; a youth will 

have his own opinion. 
Without protection of countenance, without an honour- 
able portion. 



When two brothers will be two Idases for land, 
From their claim will be cherished a lasting feud. 

XXIV. Listen, little pig ! to me it is of no purpose 

To hear the voice of water-birds, whose scream is 

Thin is the hair of my head, my covering is not warm ; 
The dales are my bam, my corn is not plenteous ; 
My summer collection affords me no relief. 
Before parting from God, incessant was my passion. 
And I will predict, before the end of the world, 
Women without shame, and men without manliness. 

XXV. Listen, little pig ! a trembling pig ! 

Thin is my covering, for me there is no repose. 

Since the battle of Ardderyd it will not concern me, 

Though the sky were to fall, and sea to overflow. 

And I will predict that after Henri 

Such and such a king in troublesome times. 

When there shall be a bridge on the Taw, and another 

on the Tywi, 
There will be an end of war in it. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 294. Notes, vol ii. p. 451. 

I^HE fleet of Mona, the seat of misfortune. 
Prevents bloodshed, with the noise of oars around her. 
A greater influx will be into the Conwy on account of 

The men of the eagle of Eiyri having fallen. 
Without ardour they were in the time of heat before 

becoming silent, 


Cymry witliout energy against injustice. 
The dragon of prediction is the son of Henii ; 
For a year was he desired before the assembling of hosts. 
Wolf of the mighty, mighty his retainers : 
10 The retinue of the world will for a time be a sign from 

the Invisible. 
The country wiU be constant to the ruler of Normandi, 
The bane of Prydein, there will be anxious concern because 

of his birth, 
With a constancy like the revolving of a wheel. 
Chief of bards of every region, as to thy ancient claims 
I wiU address thee by signs. 

How often dost thou communicate with the youthful hero, 
The heroic youth, amiable in society ? 
Supremely high will be the voice of fame on the blue 

When the youths of Brythyon come to their privilege ; 
20 And Owein will be the ruler of the kingdom, 

A ruddy man in the ruddy scene, the joy of Gwynedd, 
Of brave ancestors, the progeny of Mervyn, the bulwark 

of sovereignty. 
A crowned young hero, on the point of effecting deliver- 
Known to God is my wish. 
That the Allmyn should commence their flight with a 

bloody fate, 
And with destruction so precipitate, so violent, so terrible ! 
Extremely offensive is every naked truth, be it certain 
That distracted men have come contending about towns. 
A heap of ruddy carcases by the peaceless blade has been 

deserved ; and certainly such is the case. 
30 Every record, every juncture, every man, and every 

Christ has confeiTed upon me the advantage of knowing. 


The Lloegi'ians are unfit in the conflict of blades, 
An enervated rabble to contend in battle. 

. LXIX. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 294. Notes, vol. ii. p. 451. 

J®> OON will it happen that kindred by nature will be in 

the shout of war, 
Soon will happen many a cut from the tournament ; 
Soon will come between Saxons a recoil 
From mutual wounding, irreverent burying and 

ministering ; 
Soon will the men of Manaw come to obtain praise. 
And the North they will certainly make without peace. 
Soon will be in Prydein anxiety and want, 
And around Lloegyr they will loudly complain ; 
For the falling of the son of Henri they will be amazed ; 
10 So great in the dispersion will be the trepidation 1 

Scattered over seas, a number of legions they will chase 

Tumult will be on the borders, arrogance they will not 

. And I will predict that they will energetically shout ; 
The innocent like the guUty, they will hew down. 
With great ambition the navy of Lloegyr they will attack ; 
Barbarous hosts, plunder they will seek ; 
With open violence they will reduce towers, 
:; And strongholds they will make weak. 
In front of the host of the tournament, 
20 For the contention of one day a myriad will fall ; 
On the seas they will openly cause destruction. 
As for me, I will predict that cliildren will not multiply, 


And it is not I that conceal that they will not be dispersed. 
An age of repose the Creator will cause to be, and their 

extinction ; 
The Brythyon will scatter them, chief they will be. 
Tribulation will ensue from the anger of relatives, 
And the Saxons will be joyful when they see it. 
The omen promises to shorten it while they will be. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 296. Notes, vol. ii. p. 451. 


^f HEIST JESUS ! who art in complete possession of 

The strength of the feeble Christian in the gloom ; 
Christ, the mysterious One ! in order to produce seriousness 
May utterance be given to my bardic lay ; 
May my bards, when they chant, be attended to ; 
May my bardic word from the golden chair be kept ; 
May my poem above books be read. 
As a canon by him who chants the Paternoster. 
Believe in God, and God will not reject thee ; 
10 Believe ! from his court no vanity will affect thee ; 
Believe that He suffered on a Friday, 
And that He arose to overcome a host. 
From the mutual sullenness of royal chiefs a tumult shall 

be heard ; 
By virtue of unity, the compact of Eosser, 
May the Saxons hasten away before distress ! 
On the borders a standing army wiU be complained of. 
Unprofitable Maelenydd wiU be molested. 


Lawless, with rights, without a Caer. 
20 Around the land of Mael a long battle will be heard ; 

Around the banks of Gwyran there will be a gory scene ; 

Around Buallt eager will be the tumult at the close of day, 

Beards in flight from mortal cowardice. 

Around Aber Cammarch may be greeted 

The chief, the joy of his retinue. 

Then will the poet be free from anxiety, 

From celebrating the completion of splendid actions. 

From the primitive language, penance, and paternosters, 

From the value of respect when thou art addressed. 
30 Ask of the Supreme Being, from the depth of adoration, 

Of adoration, success from above the light 

To the steel against Lloegyr which corrupts the paternoster, 

To his friends, his flag, and his standard. 

A man from concealment, prompt, brave, and wrathful. 

Will appear, to command a multitude ; 

He will cause terror at the commencement. 

And easily break the boundary on a Friday, 

Friday : believe it is no falshood. 

The Saxons will retreat from his oppression over the country. 
40 About Aber Cammarch there will be ignominy. 

Excessive tumult, shouting, blades, and men in battle-array. 

And a splendid banner, it is no error, 

And a dragon causing the death of a leader : 

Lloegrians will be uttering doleful lamentations. 

And men in the dire shout bewailing their brains. 

A man over Lloegyr which corrupts religion, 

Will come to command his army ; 

He will cause a happy beginning. 

For a long time, as regards the land, he wiU disappear, 
50 The hero of a disturbed country. 

There will be a mutual sharpening of blades, a mutual 
havoc concerning baptism. 


It will be time like doomsday ; and gifts will be given to 

the poet. 
The action will be heard all over the land. 
His driving and impelling forces will have no end. 
His gifts, according to established rights, he will pour forth. 
Let us deserve and love Caer Leriydd, 
Because of the voice of God whose favour is unfeigned. 
Until we shall have been long through. 
60 Purity is a state of freedom from frailty. 

Precious will be the gifts of baptism from my Lord, 
Seek mercy, for fear of the element of discord. 


Around Buallt the troops of the public host 
Cause a tumult : there is complaint for each destruction. 
When disbanded let the hordes of Henri fly. 
Obscure is the top of the Caer where ruins meet. 
Alun, the foremost in beauty, is all commotion. 
Dispersion, ruin, and disgrace are all over it : 
70 The slaughter shocks one when thou relatest it ; 
To relate its severe loss thou canst not. 
From the contention of a baron of short co-operation. 
There will be a white corpse, without head, without beauty. 
There will be spare horses, worthless to be destroyed. 
And men with unfriendly looks about Ceri, 
And loud uproar, and thrusting, and shouting, 
And groaning in every . . . 
Actively will the sons of Cymry call upon Dewi 
Who loveth peace and mercy ... 


80 Fellow-ranger of the green woods ! 
Painful, piercing grief affects me. 
Conflicts are pangs of anguish to the upright. 


The life of a man is pursued like that of a wretch, 
By the strong ones of Lloegyr who corrupt equity. 
Let us meet them and see their death ! 
The union of Saxons is but for a night ; 
. ' . Of ignoble descent they are in the banquet of mead ; 
They make compacts without mutual entertainment and 

sociality ; . • .. 

And break them with a violent rupture : 
90 Barons whose co-operation is of short duration. 

And the ruler of what land in Gwyned, inferior in speech, 
Can relate the fatigue and trouble of pursuing them ? 
Look if you can see any paltry spoil. 
The tumult of slaughter is heard again. 
Let reparation be made if there is military law. 
It is peaceless treachery if a man is to be denied the hope 
Of being brought to God at once. 
Hosts get rich on full march. 
A plaintiff is strong while investigating his claim. 
100 A man was killed by an unlucky obstruction. 
True, it is incumbent on the innocent to die, 
But it is a disgrace before God to cause his death. 
There is a deliverer ten times to the brave. 
God will be pleased when every language shall have 

Health by means of penance is a painful restriction. 
May he give us through hope. 
In the end, mercy through a just compact ! Amen. 






black book of caermarthen ii. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 5. Notes, vol. ii. p. 323. 

J^L DREAM I happen to see last night ; clever is he that can 

interpret it. 
It shall not be related to the wanton ; he that will not 

conceal it shall know it not. 
It is an act of the gentle to govern the multitude. Pleasure 

is not the wealth of a country. 
Have I not been under the same covering with a fair maid 

of the hue of the billow of the strand ? 
Labour bestowed on anything good is no pain, and the 

remembrance of it will last. 
Worse is my trouble to answer him who is not acquainted 

with it. 
It is no reparation for an evil deed, a desistence after it is done. 
One's benefit does not appear when it is asked for in a round- 
about way : thou hadst better keep to what there is. 
VOL. I. 2 k 


And associate with the virtuous, and be resolute as to what 

may happen. 
10 He that frequently commits crime will at last be caught. 
He that will not relate a thing fully, will not find himself 

Eiches will not flourish with the wicked. Mass will not 

be sung on a retreat. 
A sigh is no protection against the vile. He that is not 

liberal does not deserve the name. 




Text, vol. ii. p. 5. Notes, vol. ii. p. 324. 

^3» OD supreme, be mine the Awen ! Amen ; fiat ! 

A successful song of fruitful praise, relating to the bustling 

course of the host, 
According to the sacred ode of Cyridwen, the goddess of 

various seeds, 
The various seeds of poetic harmony, the exalted speech 

of the graduated minstrel, 
Cuhelyn the bard of elegant Cymraec utterly rejects. 
A poem for a favour, the gift of friendship, will not be 

But a composition of thorough praise is being brought to 

Splendid singer in a choir, and of a song equal in length 

and motion. 
Appropriate and full were the tuneful horns, gloriously 

ascended the conflagration 


10 Of the nation of the border, whose troops were of the same 

pace and simultaneous movement. 
Praise the hero, whose gift is large, the benefit of humble 

light is the rebuke of the rallying-point of relatives, the 

winner of praise, 
A skilful fastener, for a hundred calends, the accumulator 

of heat ; 
A fierce frowning wolf, whose inflexible disposition is law, 

accustomed to jurisdiction. 
Eidoel was a man extremely brave, very choice and full of 

wisdom ; 
A leader as regards the Brython, full of knowledge and 

prudence, fiery in his wrath ; 
Accustomed to hatred, accustomed to harmony, and to the 

high seat in the banquet of mead ; 
Partaker of the intoxicating wine, a knight of the list, a 

place of limitation ; 
A lord who is the measurer of the wall, the delight of 

the four quarters, the great centre power ; 
20 A knight of stout conduct, a knight of virtuous conduct, 

with warriors full of rage ; 
A guardian celebrated in song, a fine panegyric, the 

blandishment of language. 
Odious was his death by Nognaw. Am I not agitated ? 

The active and eloquent one will I praise ; 
A contented ruler, a restless guardian, energetic and wise. 
A company of active reapers, melodious poetry, and the 

assuaging of wrath ; 
A talented hero, like a furious wave over the strand, 
The marrow of fine songs, a contemplative mind, a sacred 

mystery ; 
A servitor with knowledge, the possession of mead, an 

agreeable eulogy ; 


Music which has melody like that of a golden organ, a 

place of retirement ; 
The action of law against violence, the admirable vigour of 

the brave, the energy of the Supreme Being. 
30 A blessing I will venture to ask, a blessing I will pray 

for, I will bind myself thereby ; 
The wonderful rush of the gale, the pervasion of fire, the 

war of youth ; 
One deserving of ruddy gold, one liberal of praise furrowed 

(with age), a free wing ; 
Eeady affluence, a rill in a pleasant shelter, a reward for a 

panegyric. " 
The most deserving will yield, he will keep his refuge 

from the insult of the enemy : 
He has completely kept the law, completely shown his 

disposition before the placid Ogyrven. 
For a good turn from me, may the gift of Cuhelyn give 

satisfaction of mind. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 6. Notes, vol. ii. p. 327. 

„^CCC0EDING to the sacred ode of Cyridwen, the 

Ogyrven of various seeds, — 
The various seeds of poetic harmony, the exalted speech of 

the graduated minstrel, 
Cuhelyn the wise, of elegant Cymraec, an exalted possession. 
Will skilfully sing ; the right of Aedan, the lion, shall be 

A song of fulness, worthy of a chair, a powerful composition 

it is. 
From suitors may he receive eulogy, and they presents from 

him ; 


The bond of sovereigns, the subject of contests in har- 
monious song. 

Splendid are his horses, hundreds respect him, the skilful 
seek the chieftain, 

The circle of deliverance, the nation's refuge, and a treasure 
of mutual reproach. 
10 To banter with him, who is of a venerable form, I would 
devoutly desire ; 

A broad defence, like a ship to the suppliant, and a port to 
the minstrel, 

Quick as lightning, a powerful native, a chief whose might 
is sharp ; 

A luminary of sense, much he knows, completely he 

May the hero of the banquet, through peace, enforce tran- 
quillity from tliis day. 


The Cynghogion of Elaeth. 
black book of caermarthen xx. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 35. Notes, vol. ii. p. 344. 

L jEi^OW gone are my ardour and liveliness ; 
If I have erred, I truly acknowledge it ; 
May the Lord not inflict upon me severe pain ! 

II. May not the Lord inflict severe pain 
On man for his anger and passion. 

A reprobate of Heaven is reprobate of earth. 

III. Let sinful mortal believe in God, 
And wake at midnight ; 

Let him who offends Christ sleep not. 


IV. Let not a son of man sleep for the sake of the passion 
Of the Son of God, but wake up at the early dawn ; 
And he will obtain heaven and forgiveness. 

V. Pardon will he obtain, who will call upon 
God, and despise Him not, 
And heaven the night he dies. 

VI. If a son of man dies without being reconciled 
To God, for the sins which he has committed, 
It is not well that a soul entered his flesh. 

VII. It is not common for the mischievous to employ him- 

self in converse 
With God, against the day of affliction, 
The bold thinks that he shall not die. 
Now gone — 


Text, vol. ii. p. 36. Notes, vol. ii. p. 344. 

I. J^OT to call upon God, whose favour defends 
Both the innocent and the angels, 
Is too much of false pride ; 
Woe to him that does it openly in the world. 

II. I love not treasure with traces of dwellings no longer 

existing ; 
Everything in the present state is like a summer 

1 am a man to Him whose praise is above all things. 
To the most high God who made me. 


III. I love to praise Peter, who can bestow true peace, 
And with him his far-extending virtues ; 

In every language he is, with hope, acknowledged 
As the gentle, high-famed, generous porter of heaven. 

IV. God I will implore to grant a request, 
Lord, be Eloi my Protector ! 

That to my soul, for fear of torments, 

Be the whole protection of all the martyrs. 

V. Of God I will ask another request. 

That my soul, to be safe from the torments of enemies, 

And held in remembrance, may have 

The protection of the Virgin Mary and the holy maidens. 

VI. Of God I will ask a request also, 
Just is he, and able to defend me. 
That to my soul, for fear of terrible torments. 
Be the protection of the Christians of the world. 

VII. Of God I will ask a considerate request. 
That, being ready and diligent at all matins, 
To my soul, for fear of punishment, 
May be the protection of God and all the saints. 
Not to call upon God — 





Text, vol. ii. p. 7. Notes, vol. ii. p. 327. 

,^L SKILFUL composition, the pattern being from God, 
A composition, the language, beautiful and pleasant, from 

And should there be a language all complete around the 

On as many pivots as there are under the sea, 
On as many winged ones as the Almighty made, 
And should every one have thrice three hundred tongues, 
They could not relate the power of the Trinity. 
A diligent man in prosperity will receive no punishment. 
Let communion be ready against the Trinity. 
10 Let him be ill and ailing when his flesh becomes weak, 
That he may puff his disguise. 

Woe to thee, man of passion ; if the world were given me, 
Unless thou wert to deliver thyself, thou wouldst be satiated 

of the evil. 
Art thou not at liberty as regards what thy mind loves ? 
Furious thy violent death, thy being borne on the wattled 

frame ; 
More wretched thy end, thy interment in the grave, 
And being trodden by feet in the midst of soil and sod. 
Unequalled thy journey, thy separation from thy com- 
Faithless and useless body, think of thy soul ! 
20 Body, thou wouldst not hear when others spoke. 


What gavest thou of thy wealth before private confession ? 
What gavest thou of thy riches before the close and silent 

And what thou hadst intended, thou hast left undone ; 
And thou sawest not how many thou shouldst have loved. 
And a benefit it would have been as regards the passions 

of the people. 
And the good would have come to so much prosperity. 
When thou of thy freedom purchasest a hundred things, 

they are uncertain, 
And vanish as suddenly as the motion of eyelid. 
Hast thou noticed that they love sinisterly while seeking 

violence ? 
30 Thou respectedst not Friday, of thy great humility ; 
Thou chantedst not a paternoster at matins or vespers, 
A paternoster, the chief thing to be repeated : meditate on 

Except the Trinity. 

Thou shouldst pay what is equal to three seven pater- 
nosters daily. 
What has been and is not, and their life has not passed 

Thou art more accustomed to the roaring of the sea than 

to the preaching of the evangel. 
Must thou not go to the pUe, because thou hast not been 

humble ? 
Thou respectedst neither relics, nor altars, nor churches. 
Thou didst not attend to the strains of bards of harmonious 

40 Thou didst not respect the law of the Creator of heaven 

before death. 
A strange mixture didst thou employ in thy speech. 
Woe is me that I went with thee to our joint work ! 
Woe is me when I am about to praise thee ! 


When I came to thee, small was my evil, 
But it came to me from thy grovelling co-operation. 
As for them, none will believe us respecting thy appearance 
of enjoyment. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 8. Notes, voL ii. p. 328. 

J^^OUL, since I was made in necessity blameless 

True it is, woe is me that thou shouldst have come to my 

Neither for my own sake, nor for death, nor for end, nor 

for beginning. 
It was with seven faculties that I was thus blessed, 
With seven created beings I was placed for purification ; 
I was gleaming fire when I was caused to exist ; 
I was dust of the earth, and grief could not reach me ; 
I was a high wind, being less evil than good ; 
I was a mist on a mountain seeking supplies of stags ; 
10 I was blossoms of trees on the face of the earth. 

If the Lord had blessed me. He would have placed me on 

Soul, since I was made — 


Text, vol. ii. p. 9. Notes, vol. ii. p. 328. 

JMl^T us not reproach one another, but rather mutually 

save ourselves. 
Certain is a meeting after separation, 
The appointment of a senate, and a certain conference. 
And the rising from the grave after a long repose. 


The mighty God will keep in his power the man of correct 

And will let fire upon the unholy people, 
And lightning and thunder and wide-spread death. 
Neither a solitary nor a sluggard shall pass to a place of 

And after peace there shall be the usages of a kingdom ; 
10 The three hosts shall be brought to the overpowering 

presence of Jesus : 
A pure and blessed host like the angels ; 
Another host, mixed, like the people of a country ; 
The third host, unbaptized, a multitude that directly after 

Will proceed in a thick crowd to the side of devils, 
Not one of them shall go, owing to their hideous forms, 
To the place where there are flowers and dew on the 

pleasant land, 
Where there are singers tuning their harmonious lays, 
Happy will be their cogitations with the ruler of the 

glorious retinue ; 
Where the Apostles are in the kingdom of the humble, 
20 Where the bounteous Creator is on his glorious throne. 
May a disposition for the grave be given us ; exalted is a 

relationship to Him ; 
And before we are gathered together to mount Olivet, 
May those who have fallen be victorious over death ; 
And work like theirs may we also do ; for at the judgment- 
The wonders, greatness, and puissance of the Creator none 

can relate. 



Text, vol. ii, p. 10. Notes, vol. ii. p. 330. 

J^ET God be praised in the beginning and the end. 
Who supplicates Him, He will neither despise nor refuse. 
The only son of Mary, the great exemplar of kings, 
Mary, the mother of Christ, the praise of women. 
The sun will come from the East to the North, 
Intercede, for thy great mercy's sake, 
With thy Son, the glorious object of our love, 
God above us, God before us, God possessing (all things). 
May the Father of Heaven grant us a portion of mercy ; 
10 Puissant Sovereign, may there be peace between us without 

refusal ; 
May we reform and make satisfaction for our transgressions. 
Before I go to the earth to my fresh gitive. 
In the dark without a candle to my tribunal. 
To my narrow abode, to the limits assigned to me, to my 

repose ; 
After my horse, and indulgence in fresh mead, 
And social feasting, and gallantry with women. 
I will not sleep ; I will meditate on my end. 
We are in a state the wantonness of which is sad ; 
Like leaves from the top of trees it will vanish away. 
20 Woe to the niggard that hoards up precious things ; 
And unless the Supreme Father wUl support him. 
Though he is allowed to have his course in the present 

world, his end will be dangerous. 
He knows not what it is to be brave, yet will he not 

tremble in his present state ; 


He will not rise up in the morning, will utter no greeting, 

nor wUl he sit ; 
He will not sing joyfully nor ask for mercy. 
Bitter will, in the end, be the retribution 
Of haughtiness, arrogance, and restlessness. 
He pampers his body for toads and snakes 
And lions, and conceives iniquity. 
30 And death will come upon hoary age ; 

He is insatiable in the assembly and in the banquet. 

Old age will draw nigh, and spreads itself over thee. 

Thy ear, thy sight, thy teeth, they will not return ; 

The skin of thy fingers will wrinkle. 

And age and hoariness will affect thee. 

May Michael make intercession for us, that the Father of 

heaven may dispense us His mercy ! 
The beginning of summer is a most pleasant season, tuneful 

the birds, green the stalks of plants, 
Ploughs are in the furrow, oxen in the yoke, 
Green is the sea, variegated the land. 
40 When cuckoos sing on the branches of pleasant trees. 
May my joyfulness become greater. 
Smoke is painful, sleeplessness is manifest. 
Since my friends are returned to their former state 
In the hill, in the dale, in the islands of the sea. 
In every direction that one goes, in the presence of the 

blessed Christ there is no terror. 
It was our desire, our friend, our trespass 
To penetrate into the land of thy banishment. 
Seven saints and seven score and seven hundred did he 

pierce in one convention. 
With Christ the blessed they sustain no apprehension of 

50 A gift I will ask, may it not be refused me by the God of 



Since there is a way to the gate of the Supreme Father, 
Christ, may I not be sad before thy throne ! 


Text, vol. ii. p. 12. Notes, voL ii. p. 331. 

jE|>.AIL, glorious Lord ! 

May church and chancel bless Thee ! 

And chancel and church ! 

And plain and precipice ! 

And the three fountains there are, 

Two above wind, and one above the earth 

May darkness and light bless Thee ! 

And fine silk and sweet trees ! 

Abraham the chief of faith did bless Thee. 
10 And life eternal. 

And birds and bees. 

And old and young. 

Aaron and Moses did bless Thee. 

And male and female. 

And the seven days and the stars. 

And the air and the ether. 

And books and letters. 

And fish in the flowing water. 

And song and deed. 
20 And sand and sward. 

And such as were satisfied with good. 

I will bless Thee, glorious Lord I 
Hail, glorious Lord I 



Text, vol. ii. p. 13. Notes, vol. ii. p. 331. 

I. Jfc WILL extol Thee, the Trinity in the mysterious One, 
Who is One and Three, a Unity of one energy, 
Of the same essence and attributes, one God to be praised. 
I wiU praise Thee, great Father, whose mighty works are 

To praise Thee is just ; to praise Thee is incumbent on me. 
The produce of poetry is the right of Eloi. 
Hail, glorious Christ ! 
Father, and Son, and Spirit ! Lord, 
God, Adonai ! 

II. I will extol God, who is both One and Two, 

Who is Three without any error, without its being easily 
doubted ; 

Who made fruit, and rill, and every gushing stream ; 

God is his name, being two Divine Ones to be com- 
prehended ; 

God is his name, being three Divine Ones in his energy ; 

God is his name, being One ; the God of Paul and Anhun. 

m. I will extol One, who is both Two and One. 
Who is, besides, Three, who is God Himself, 
Who made Mars and Luna, and male and female, 
And ordaiaed that the shallow and the abyss should not 

be of equal depth ; 
Who made heat and cold, and sun and moon. 
And letters in the wax, and flame in the candle. 
And affection to be one of the senses, and lovely woman late, 
And caused the burning of five Caers, and an erring consort. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 13. Notes, vol. ii. p. 332. 

^N the name of the Lord, mine to adore, whose praise 

is great. 
I will praise the great Euler, whose blessing is great on an 

alms-deed ; 
The Grod that defends us, the God that made us, the God 

that will deliver us. 
The God of our hope, blessed, perfect, and pure is his true 

God owns us ; God is above, the Triune King, 
God has been felt a support to us in affliction ; 
God has been, by being imprisoned, in humility. 
May the blessed Ruler make us free against the day of 

And bring us to the feast, for the sake of his meekness 

and lowliness, 
10 And happily receive us into Paradise from the burden of 

And give us salvation, for the sake of his agony and five 

Terrible anguish ! God delivered us when he assumed flesh. 
Man would have been lost, had He not ransomed him, 

according to his glorious ordinance. 
From the bloody Cross came redemption to the whole 

Christ the mighty Shepherd, his merits will never fail. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 14. Notes, vol. ii. p. 333. 

J^HEEE is a graciously disposed King, who is wonderful 
in the highest degree. 

Who is chief above the children of Adam, 

Who is a happy and most mighty defence, 

Who is generous, glorious, and most pure. 

Whose claim is most strong and binding. 

What is heard of him, and what is true, that will I celebrate. 

To the great God, to the condescending and most com- 
passionate God, 

To the blessed God a sacred song I will sing. 

Until I become a blameless man to God, I will consider 
the substance, 
10 About the sin which Adam sinned. 

About sin before the judgment I am very anxious. 

Against the day of appointment, when all men shall come 

From their graves in their strength and greatest vigour, 

As they were when they were in their very prime, 

In one host to the one place most pleasant. 

Even to the top of one hill, in order to be judged. 

Among this multitude may I attain the merit 

Of being protected by a retinue of the nine orders of 

My God ! what a gathering ! 
20 My Lord God ! may my bardic lore 

Affect the bonds of the universe ! 

My great Superior ! my Owner ! 

The object of my reverence ! before going to the sod, before 
going to the gravel, 

Permit thou me to indite a composition 

VOL. I. 2 L 


To thy praise, before my tongue becomes mute, 
And my memory like Job, who spoke 
Unto his wife concerning her dragonic obedience. 
When the servant of God on a certain day came 
To him to the contest with his wife, 
30 Before the blow he gave a handful 

Of what had peeled from the surface of his flesh. 

And since the presents which any one gave were now 

The merciful God made a gift of charity 
In pure gold, the treasure of the Trinity. 
In a fainting state he sits, and there praises God. 
Blessed was he to be plagued ! Now said Sin, 
" Thou knowest how to conceal the perfidy of the mysterious 

The love-diffusing Lord of heaven, the Creator, take thou 

to praise Him, 
That thou mayest reach the fair and happy region, 
40 Happy, pleasant, free, and greatly deserving praise. 
Loving wine, love thou the gentle, preserve the truth. 
Eva did not preserve the sweet apple-tree which God com- 
manded her. 
For her transgression He was not reconciled to her, 
But manifest pain he inflicted upon her. 
Some wonderful covering of a flinty dress she put on herself; 
The Maker of heaven caused her, in the midst of her riches, 

to make herself bare. 
And a second miracle did the bountiful Lord, who hears 

being praised. 
When she wished to avoid being caught, 
The way in which she fled was where 
50 There was a ploughman ploughing the ground, 

With men in attendance. The mysterious Trinity has 

spoken it. 


Then went the faultless mother of splendid gifts 

With her happy husband. A crowd of men 

Afterwards came to ask 

In an entertainment, 
" Hast thou seen a woman and a son with her ? " 

And say thou, for the record's truth, 

And he will not refuse our request, 

That thou didst see us going without her 
60 To a certain spot, and the blessing of God be on it ! 

Upon that came a destitute rabble, a race of the disposi- 
tion of Cain, 

A fierce and iniquitous multitude are they ; 

A tower was sought, in order to seek the mysterious Being, 

Then said one who was deformed and unwitty, to the 
man whom thou seest, — 
" Hast thou seen the men of the city of giants 

Going by thee without turning ? " 

I did see them when I harrowed the fair land, 

Where you see the reaping. 

What the children of Cain now did, was 
70 To turn away from the reapers. 

Through the intercession of Mary Maria, 

And her knowledge communicated to her by God, 

There were defending them, besides herself, 

The Holy Spirit and her sanctity. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 41. Notes, vol. ii p. 346. 

J^i-S long as we sojourn among excess and pride. 

Let our work be perfect ; 

Let us seek deliverance through faith. 

And religion and belief, as long as there is a belief in 


God through obtaining faith, 

And by doing great penance daily, 

Soul, why askest thou me 

What my end, and will the grave be my portion ? 


Text, vol. ii. p. 46. Notes, voL ii. p. 348. 

I. ,^L BLESSING to the happy youth and to the fair 

kingdom ! 
Large is the wave, capacious the breast. 
God is his name in the depth of every language. 
Thou with energy didst overshadow the pure Mary ; 
Well hast Thou come in human form. 
Behold here the Son of glorious hope, 
Whose death proceeded from Idas. 
He was, by his treachery and disgraceful conduct, 
A deluder in the gentle service of his Lord ; 
Cunning was he, but he was not wise ; 
And until the judgment I know not his destination. 
If a bard were every poet that is 
On earth, on the brine and on the cultivated plain. 
On the sand and on the seas, and in the stars of astronomy. 
The giver with the gentle and ready hand being judge, 
More than they could I should wish, and also do. 
To relate the power and bounty of the Creator. 
Great God ! to-day is thy majesty extolled. 

II. The blessing of the nine hosts of heaven on the mysterious 
Creator, the mighty God and dominator. 

Who has created the light of gladness. 

And generous brightness of the sun in the day, 


Like the Christian's lamp, it shines above the deep, 

A thousand times greater than the moon. 

And a third wonder is, the agitation of the sea ; 

How it ebbs, how it swells, 

How it goes, how it comes, how it rolls, how it settles ; 

How long will it go, or how will it be ? 

At the end of seven years, 

The Creator will check its course, 

Until it comes to its former state. 

We will worship him who causes it, the mighty 

God, the Son of Mary, who created heaven a.nd earth. 

When thou camest on Easter eve 

From Uffern, what was thy portion became liberated ; 

Creator of heaven ! may we purchase thy loving-kindness ! 




Text, vol. ii. p. 42. Notes, vol. ii. p. 347. 

I. J© LACK thy horse, black thy cope. 
Black thy head, black thyself, 
Yes, black ! art thou Yscolan ? 

II. I am Yscolan the scholar, 
Slight is my clouded reason, 

There is no drowning the woe of him who oflfends a 

III. For having burnt a church, and destroyed the cattle of 

a school. 
And caused a book to be submerged. 
My penance is a heavy affliction. 

IV. Creator of the creatures, of supports 
The greatest, pardon me my iniquity ! 
He who betrayed Thee, deceived me. 

V. A full year was given me 

At Bangor on the pole of a weir ; 
Consider thou my suffering from sea-worms. 

VI. If I knew what I now know 

As plain as the wind in the top branches of waving trees, 
What I did I should never have done. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 43. Notes, vol. ii. p. 347. 


L IW^KE first word that I will utter 

In the morning when I get up, 
" May the Cross of Christ be as a vesture around me." 

IL What belongs to my Creator I will put on 
To-day, in one house will I attend. 
He is not a Gk>d in whom I will not believe. 

-III. I will dress myself handsomely, 

And believe in no omen which is not certain ; 
He that created me wiU strengthen me. 

IV. I have a mind to see sights. 
Intending to go to sea ; 
May a useful purpose become a treasure ! 

V. I have a mind for an advice, 
Intending to go to sea ; 
May the purpose be useful, Lord ! 

VI. Let the raven uplift its wing, 

With the intention of going far away ; 
May a useful purpose become better ! 

VIL Let the raven uplift its wing. 

With the intention of going to Home ; 
May a useful purpose become glorious ! 


VIII. Saddle thou the bayard with the white bridle, 
To course Hiraethawg with its quaking grass : 
Creator of Heaven ! God must be with us ! 

IX. Saddle thou the bayard with the short hair, 
Free in the conflict, quick in his pace ; 
Where the nose is, there will be snorting. 

X, Saddle thou the bayard with the long bound, 
Free in the conflict, pleasing in his pace ; 

The sneering of the vicious will not check the brave. 

XI. Heavy the consistence of the earth, thick leaves its cover 
Bitter the drinking-horn of sweet mead ; 
Creator of Heaven ! prosper my business ! 

XII. From the progeny of the sovereign and victor, 
Gwosprid, and Peter chief of every language. 
Saint Ffraid, bless us on our journey ! 

XIII. Thou, Sun, to him intercession and vows are made, 
Lord, Christ the Mysterious, the pillar of beneficence ! 
May I make satisfaction for my sin and actions. 


I asked to secular priests, 
To their bishops and their judges, 
" What is the best thing for the soul?" 
The Paternoster, and consecrated wafers, and a holy 
Creed, he who sings them for his soul, 
Until the judgment will be accustomed to the best thing. 
Smooth the way as thou goest, and cultivate peace, 
And to thee there will be no end of mercy. 
Give food to the hungry and clothes to the naked, 


10 And say thy devotions : 

From the presence of devils thou hast escaped. 

The proud and the idle have pain in their flesh, 

The reward of going to excess : 

Beware of sifting what is not pure. 

Excess of sleep, and excess of drunkenness, and too 
much beverage 

Of mead, and too much submission to the flesh, 

These are six bitter things against the judgment. 

For perjury in respect of land, and the betraymeut of a 

And the scandalising of the bounteous, 
20 At the day of judgment let there be repentance. 

By rising to matins and noctums. 

Awaking, and interceding with the saints, 

Shall every Christian obtain forgiveness. 






Text, vol. ii. p. 94. Notes, vol. ii. p. 391. 

Here beginneth the Gwarchan of Adebon. 

J^IfIHE apple will not fall far from the apple-tree. 

The diligent cannot prosper with the prodigal. 

The naked will not be bold among thistles. 

All, when made to swear overmuch, will fail. 

Would I love him who would love the rapacious ? 

Death will not occur twice. 

His speech is of no use to the dumb. 

Thou wilt not delight to put one of the same language in 

The horses of an effeminate person are his dainties. 

At home peace has been lost. 

Be thy mansion large, thou wert a hero in the day of con- 

As long as there will be things to seek for thee there will 
be seekers. 

High stones, a reaping to the foe. 

The conclusion of the Gwarchan of Adebon. 

And so endeth the Gwarchan of Adebon. 






The Fold of the Bards, 
book of taliessin iii. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 115. Notes, vol. ii. p. 398. 

^]©[EDITATING were my thoughts 
On the vain poetry of the bards of Brython. 
Making the best of themselves in the chief convention. 
Enough, the care of the smith's sledge-hammer. 
I am in want of a stick, straitened in song, 
The fold of the bards, who knows it not ? 
Fifteen thousand over it 
Adjusting it. 

I am a harmonious one ; I am a clear singer. 
10 I am steel ; I am a druid. 

I am an artificer ; I am a scientific one. 

I am a serpent ; I am love ; I will indulge in feasting. 

I am not a confused bard drivelling, 


When songsters sing a song by memory, 

They will not make wonderful cries ; 

May I be receiving them. 

Like receiving clothes without a hand, 

Like sinking in a lake without swimming. 

The stream boldly rises tumultuously in degree. 
20 High in the blood of sea-board towns. 

The rock wave-surrounded, by great arrangement, 

Will convey for us a defence, a protection from the enemy. 

The rock of the chief proprietor, the head of tranquillity. 

The intoxication of meads will cause us to speak. 

I am a cell, I am a cleft, I am a restoration, 

I am the depository of song ; I am a literary man ; 

I love the high trees, that afford a protection above, 

And a bard that composes, without earning anger ; 

I love not him that causes contention ; 
30 He that speaks ill of the skilful shall not possess mead. 

It is a fit time to go to the drinking, 

With the skilful men, about art, 

And a hundred knots, the custom of the country. 

The shepherd of the districts, support of gates. 

Like going without a foot to battle. 

He would not journey without a foot. 

He would not breed nuts without trees, 

Like seeking for ants in the heath. 

Like an instrument of foolish spoil, 
40 Like the retinue of an army without a head, 

Like feeding the unsheltered on lichen. 

Like ridging furrows from the country 

Like reaching the sky with a hook, 

Like deprecating with the blood of thistles, 

Like making light for the blind. 

Like sharing clothes to the naked. 

Like spreading buttermilk on the sands, 


Like feeding fish upon milk, 
Like roofing a hall with leaves, 
50 Like killing a tortoise with rods. 
Like dissolving riches before a word. 
I am a bard of the hall, I am a chick of the chair. 
I will cause to loquacious bards a hindrance. 
Before I am dragged to my harsh reward. 
May we buy thee, that wilt protect us, thou son of Mary. 


Hostile Confedekacy. 
book of taliessin vil 

Text, voL iL p. 129. Notes, vol. ii. p. 399. 

,^i BAED there is here, who has not sung, what 

he shall have to sing ; 
Let him sing ; when he shall have finished. 
An astrologer then he may be. 
The generous ones refuse me. 
There will not be one that will give. 
Through the language of Taliessin, 
It was a bright day 
When Kian did 
Praise the multitude. 
10 There will be a slaughter, let there be the speech of 

But if he ingeniously brings 
The requisites forward, 
Gwiawn will declare, 
O the deep that will come ! 
He would make the dead alive, 
And destitute of wealth he is. 
They will not make their cauldrons. 


That will boil without fire. 

They will make their metals 
20 In age of ages. 

Thy pace that bears thee 

From the deep of panegyric, 

Is it not the hostile confederacy ? 

What its custom ? 

So much of national song 

Your tongue has given. 

"Why will ye not recite an oration 

Of blessing over the liquor of brightness ? 

The theme of every one's rhapsody. 
30 I shall be there according to custom. 

He was a profound judge. 

He came after his periodical custom, 

The third of the equal judges. 

Three score years 

I have supported an earthly scene, 

In the water of law and the multitude. 

In the element of lands. 

A hundred servants surroimded, 

A hundred kings made vows. 
40 A hundred they are that went, 

A hundred they are that came. 

A hundred minstrels sang. 

And he foretold of them. 

Lladdon, the daughter of the stream. 

Little was her desire 

For gold and silver, 

Who is the living one that left her ? 

Blood on the breast ; 

He will probably be spoken of, 
50 He will be greatly praised. 

I am Taliessin, 


I will delineate the true lineage 

Continuing until the end, 

In the pattern of Elphin. 

Is not the tribute 

Of counted gold a debt ? 

When is hated and not loved, 

Perjuiy and treason, 

I desire not advantage, 
60 Through the fluctuation of our song. 

The brother that freely greets, 

From me no one shall know. 

The wise man of the primary science, 

The astrologer reasoned. 

About wrath, about the resolvent. 

About the man describing windings. 

About men well versed in praise. 

Let us proceed, God it is. 

Through the language of Talhaearn, 
70 Baptism was the day of judgment, 
. That judged the characteristics 

Of the force of poetry. 

He and his virtue gave 

Inspiration without mediocrity, 

Seven score Ogyrven 

Are in the Awen. 

Eight score, of every score it will be one. 

In the deep it will cease from ire ; 

In the deep it wiU be excessively angry ; 
80 In the deep, below the earth ; 

In the sky, above the earth. 

There is one that knows 

What sadness is, 

Better than joy. 

I know the law of the graces of 


The Awen, when it flows, 

Concerning skilful payments, 

Concerning happy days, 

Concerning a tranquil life, 
90 Concerning the protection of ages. 

Concerning what beseems kings; how long their 

Concerning similar things, that are on the face of 
the earth. 

Magnificent astronomy, when communicated. 

Sees all that is high. 

When the mind is active, 

When the sea is pleasant, 

When the race is valiant, 

When the high one is supplicated. 

Or the sun when it is given, 
100 When it covers the land. 

Covering land of what extent ? 

When was drawn the bird of wrath, 

The bird of wrath when it was drawn. 

When the earth is green. 

Who chaunted songs ? 

Songs who chaunted ? 

If true, who has considered them ? 

It has been considered in books, 
110 How many winds, how many streams, 

How many streams, how many winds. 

How many rivers in their courses. 

How many rivers there are. 

The earth, what its breadth ; 

Or what its thickness. 

I know the noise of the blades, 

Crimson on all sides, about the floor. 

I know the regulator, 


Between heaven and earth ; 
120 When an opposite hill is echoing, 

When devastation urges onward, 

When the silveiy (vault) is shining, 

When the dell shall be gloomy. 

The breath when it is black, 

When is best that has been. 

A cow, when it is horned, 

A wife, when she is lovely, 

Milk, when it is white. 

When the holly is green, 
130 When is bearded the kid 

In the multitude of fields, 

When it is bearded, 

When the cow-parsnip is created, 

When is revolving the wheel, 

When the mallet is flat. 

When is spotted the little roebuck, 

When the salt is brine. 

Ale, when it is of an active quality. 

When is of purplish hue the alder. 
140 When is green the linnet. 

When are red the hips, 

Or a woman when restless. 

When the night comes on. 

What reserve there is in the hour of flowing, 

No one knows whence the bosom of the sun is 
made ruddy. 

A stain on a new garment. 

It is difficult to remove it. 

The string of a harp, why it complains. 

The cuckoo, why it complains, why it sings. 
150 Why keepeth the agreeable. 

Why have led the camp 
VOL. I. 2 M 


Gereint and Arman. 
What brings out the sparkle 
From hard working of the stones. 
When is sweet-smelling the goat's-beard plant ; 
When the crows are of a waxen hue. 
Talhayarn is 
The greatest astronomer. 
What is the imagination of trees. 
160 From the muse the agreement of a day. 
I know good and evil. 

The bowl of whom has flowed, 

What dawn has finished, 

Who preached, 

Eli and Eneas : 

I know the cuckoos of summer, 

(Where) they will be in the winter. 
170 The Awen I sing. 

From the deep I bring it, 

A river while it flows, 

I know its extent ; 

I know when it disappears ; 

I know when it fills ; 

I know when it overflows ; 

I know when it shrinks ; 

I know what base 

There is beneath the sea. 
180 I know their equivalent, 

Every one in its retinue ; 

How many were heard in a day, 

How many days in a year. 

How many shafts in a battle, 

How many drops in a shower. 


Mildly he divided them. 

A greater mockery, the partial stirring up of disgrace, 

The vicious muse of Gv^ydyon, 

I know the one, 
190 That fiUed the river, 

On the people of Pharaoh. 
• Who brought the windings 

Of present reasons. 

What was the active patience, 

When heaven was upreared. 

What was a sail-staff 

From earth to sky. 

How many fingers about the cauldron, 

About one, about the hand, 
200 What name the two words 

Will not deliver in one cauldron. 

When the sea is turning round. 

When black are the fish. 

Marine food shall be their flesh. 

Until it is transformed. 

When fish shall contain it. 

When the foot of the white swan is black, 

Four-sided the sharp spear. 

The tribe of heaven will not put down. 
210 Which are the four elements. 

Their end is not known. 

What pigs, or what wandering of stags. 

I salute thee, Bard of the border. 

May he increase thee, (whose) bones (are of) mist. 

(Where) two cataracts of wind fall. 

My mind has been expressed 

In Hebrew, in Hebraic. 

In Hebraic, in Hebrew, 

Laudatu Laudate Jesu. 


220 A second time was I formed. 

I have been a blue salmon. 

I have been a dog ; I have been a stag ; 

I have been a roebuck on the mountain. 

I have been a stock, I have been a spade ; 

I have been an axe in the hand ; 

I have been a pin in a forceps, 

A year and a half ; 

I have been a speckled white cock 

Upon hens in Eiddyn. 
230 I have been a stallion over a stud. 

I have been a violent bull, 

I have been a buck of yellow hue, 

As it is feeding. 

I have been a grain discovered. 

Which grew on a hilL 

He that reaped me placed me, 
■ Into a smoke-hole driving me. 

Exerting of the hand, 

In affiicting me, 
240 A hen received me. 

With ruddy claws, (and) parting comb. 

I rested nine nights. 

In her womb a child, 

I have been matured, 

I have been an offering before the Guledig, 

I have been dead, I have been alive. 

A branch there was to me of ivy, 

I have been a convoy, 

Before God I have been poor. 
250 Again advised me the cherisher 

With ruddy claws ; of what she gave me 

Scarcely can be recounted ; 

Greatly will it be praised. 


I am Taliessin. 

I will delineate the true lineage, 
That will continue to the end, 
In the pattern of Elphin. 

The Chair of Taliessin. 

BOOK OF taliessin XIII. 
Text, vol. ii. p. 151. Notes, vol. ii. p. 403. 

W AM the agitator 

Of the praise of God the Euler. 

With respect to the concerns of song, 

The requisites of a profound speaker, 

A bard, with the breast of an astrologer.' 

"When he recites 

The Awen at the setting in of the evening. 

On the fine night of a fine day. 

Bards loquacious the light will separate. 
10 Their praise will not bring me to associate, 

In the strath, on the course, 

With aspect of great cunning. 

I am not a mute artist, 

Conspicuous among the bards of the people. 

I animate the bold, 

I influence the heedless ; 

I wake up the looker on, 

The enlightener of bold kings. 

I am not a shallow artist, 
20 Conspicuous among kindred bards. 

The likeness of a subtle portion, 

The deep ocean (is) suitable. 

Who has filled me with hatred ? 


A prize in every unveiling. 

When the dew is undisturbed. 

And the wheat is reaped, 

And the bees are gentle, 

And myrrh and frankincense. 

And transmarine aloes. 
30 And the golden pipes of Lieu, 

And a curtain of excellent sUver, 

And a ruddy gem, and berries. 

And the foam of the sea. 

Why will the fountain hasten 

Water-cresses of purifying juicy quality? 

What will join together the common people ? 

Wort, the nobility of liquor. 

And a load that the moon separates,' 

The placid gentleness of Merlyn. 
40 And philosophers of intelligence 

Will study about the moon. 

And the influence of an order of men. 

Exposed to the breeze of the sky. 

And a soddening and effusion, 

And a portion after effusion. 

And the coracle of glass 

In the hand of the pilgrim. 

And the valiant one and pitch. 

And the honoured Segyrffyg, 
50 And medical plants. 

A place of complete benefit, 

And bards and blossoms. 

And gloomy bushes. 

And primroses and small herbs. 

And the points of the tree-shrubs. 

And deficiency and possession, 

And frequent pledging. 


And wine overflowing the brim, 

From Eome to Eossed. 
60 And deep still water, 

Its stream the gift of God. 

Or if it will be wood the purifier, 

Fruitful its increase. 

Let the brewer give a heat, 

Over a cauldron of five trees. 

And the river of Gwiawn, 

And the influence of fine weather, 

And honey and trefoil, 

And mead-horns intoxicating 
70 Pleasing to a sovereign, 

The gift of the Druids. 


Song to the Wind, 
book of taliessin xvil- 

Text, vol. ii. p. 159. Notes, vol. ii. p. 406. 

^UESS who it is. 
Created before the deluge. 
A creature strong, 
Without flesh, without bone, 
Without veins, without blood, 
Without head, and without feet. 
It will not be older, it will not be younger. 
Than it was in the beginning. 
There will not come from his design 
10 Fear or death. 
He has no wants 
From creatures. 
Great God ! the sea whitens 


When it comes from the beginning. 

Great his beauties, 

The one that made him. 

He, in the field, he, in the wood. 

Without hand and without foot. 

Without old age, without age. 
20 Without the most jealous destiny 

And he (is) coeval 

With the five periods of the five ages. 

And also is older, 

Though there be five hundred thousand years. 

And he is as wide 

As the face of the earth, 

And he was not bom. 

And he has not been seen. 

He, on sea, he, on land, 
30 He sees not, he is not seen. 

He is not sincere, 

He will not come when it is wished. 

He, on land, he, on sea. 

He is indispensable. 

He is unconfined. 

He is unequalled. 

He from four regions. 

He will not be according to counsel. 

He commences his journey 
40 From above the stone of marble. 

He is loud-voiced, he is mute. 

He is uncourteous. 

He is vehement, he is bold, 

WTien he glances over the land. 

He is mute, he is loud-voiced. 

He is blustering. 

Greatest, his banner 


On the face of the earth. 

He is good, he is bad, 
50 He is not bright, 

He is not manifest, 

For the sight does not see (him). 

He is bad, he is good. 

He is yonder, he is here, 

He will disorder. 

He will not repair what he does 

And he sinless, 

He is wet, he is dry, 

He comes frequently 
60 From the heat of the snn, and the coldness 
of the moon. 

The moon is without benefit, 

Because less, her heat. 

One Person has made it. 

All the creatures. 

He owns the beginning 

And the end without falsehood. 

Not skilful, the minstrel 

That praises not the Lord. 

Not true, the songster 
70 That praises not the Father. 

Not usual will a plough be 

Without iron, without seed. 

There was not a light 

Before the creation of heaven ; 

There will not be a priest, 

That will not bless the wafer ; 

The perverse will not know 

The seven faculties. 

Ten coimtries were provided, 
80 In the angelic country. 


The tenth were discarded, 
They loved not their Father. 
A loveless shower 
In utter ruin. 
Ilucufer the corrupter, 
Like his destitute country 
Seven stars there are, 
Of the seven gifts of the Lord. 
The student of the stars 
90 Knows their substance, 
Marca mercedus 
Ola olimus 
Luna lafurus 
Jubiter venerus 
From the sun freely flowing 
The moon fetches light. 
Eemembrance is not in vain, 
No cross if not believed. 
Our Father ! Our Father ! 
100 Our relative and companion. 

Our Sovereign, we shall not be separated. 
By the host of Llucufer. 


Song to Mead. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 164. Notes, voL ii. p. 407. 

^ WILL adore the Euler, chief of every place, 

Him, that supports the heaven : Lord of everything. 

Him, that made the water for every one good, 

Him, that made every gift, and prospers it. 

May Maelgwn of Mona be affected with mead, and afifect us, 


From the foaming mead-homs, with the choicest pure liquor, 

Which the bees collect, and do not enjoy. 

Mead distilled sparkling, its praise is everywhere. 

The multitude of creatures which the earth nourishes, 
10 God made for man to enrich him. 

Some fierce, some mute, he enjoys them. 

Some wild, some tame, the Lord makes them. 

Their coverings become clothing. 

For food, for drink, till doom they will continue. 

I win implore the Euler, sovereign of the country of peace. 

To liberate Elphin from banishment. 

The man who gave me wine and ale and mead. 

And the great princely steeds, beautiful their appearance, 

May he yet give me bounty to the end. 
20 By the will of God, he will give in honour, 

Five five-hundred festivals in the way of peace. 

Elphinian knight of mead, late be thy time of rest 


Song to the Geeat World. 

book of taliessin lv. 

Text, voL ii. p. 214. Notes, vol. ii p. 422. 

^ WILL adore my Father, 
My God, my strengthener, 
Who infused through my head 
A soul to direct me. 
Who has made for me in perception, 
My seven faculties. 
Of fire and earth. 
And water and air, 
And mist and flowers, 
10 And southerly wind. 


Other senses of perception 
Thy father formed for me. 
One is to have instinct 
With the second I touch, 
With the third I call, 
With the fourth I taste, 
With the fifth I see, 
With the sixth I hear. 
With the seventh I smell. 

20 And I foresay, 

Seven airs there are, 
Above the astronomer. 
And three parts the seas. 
How they strike on all sides. 
How great and wonderful. 
The world, not of one form. 
Did God make above. 
On the planets. 
He made Sola, 

30 He made Luna, 
He made Marca 
And Marcarucia, 
He made Venus, 
He made Venerus, 
He made Severus, 
And the seventh Satumus, 
The good God made 
Five zones of the earth, 
For as long as it will last. 

40 One is cold, 

And the second is cold, 
And the third is heat. 
Disagreeable, unprofitable. 
The fourth, paradise. 


The people will contain. 

The fifth is the temperate, 

And the gates of the universe. 

Into three it is divided, 

In the minstrelsy of perception. 
50 One is Asia, 

The second is Africa, 

The third is Europa. 

The baptism of consolation. 

Until doomsday it will continue. 

When everything will be judged. 

My Awen has caused me 

To praise my king. 

I am Taliessin, 

With a speed flowing as a diviner. 
60 Continuing to the end 

In the pattern of Elphin. 

Song to the Little World. 

BOOK of taliessin LVL 
Text, vol. ii. p. 216. Notes, vol. ii. p. 422. 

JplHE beautiful I sang of, I will sing. 
The world one day more. 
Much I reason. 
And I meditate. 

I will address the bards of the world, 
Since it is not told me 
What supports the world, 
That it falls not into vacancy. 
Or if the world should fall, 
10 On what would it fall ? 


Who would uphold it ? 
The world, how it comes again, 
When it falls in decay, 
Again in the enclosing circle. 
The world, how wonderful it is, 
That it falls not at once. 
The world, how peculiar it is, 
So great was it trampled on. 
Johannes, Mattheus, 
20 Lucas, and Marcus, 
They sustain the word 
Through the grace of the Spirit. 


Juvenile Ornaments of Taliessin. 

BOOK OF taliessin IX. 
Text, voL ii. p. 144. Notes, voL ii. p. 400. 

^ WILL address my Lord, 
To consider the Awen. 
What brought necessity 
Before the time of Ceridwen. 
Primarily through my life 
Poverty has been. 
The wealthy monks 
Why will they not speak to me ? 
Why will they not cause me to tremble ? 
10 One hour that I was not followed. 
What disappearance of smoke ? 
Why sang he evil ? 
What fountain breaks out 
Above the covert of darkness ? 
When the reed is white. 


When it is a moonlight night. 

Another was not sung, 

It was shaken out, 

When is apt to be forward 
20 The noise of waves on the shore. 

In the vengeance of the ocean, 

A day will reach to them. 

When a stone is so heavy, 

When a thorn is so sharp. 

Knowest thou which is best ? 

Its base or its point. 

Who caused a partition 

Between man and frigidity ? 

Whose is the wholesomest sore ? 
30 The young or the old ? 

Knowest thou what thou art 

When thou art sleeping? 

Whether a body or a soul, ^ 

Or a secresy of perception ? 

The ingenious minstrel, 

Why does he not inform me ? 

Knowest thou where should be 

The night waiting the passing of the day ? 

Knowest thou a sign, 
40 How many leaves there are ? 

Who uplifted the mountain. 

Before the elements fell ? 

Who supports the structure 

Of the earth for a habitation ? 

The soul of whom is complained of ? 

Who has seen it, who knows ? 

I wonder in books 

That they know not truly 

The soul, what is its seat. 


50 What form its limbs, 

Through what part it pours out, 

What air it respires ? 

A war petulant, 

A simier endangered. 

A wonder in mockery, 

What were its dregs. 

Which is the best intoxication, 

Of mead or of bragget ? 

When their happiness 
60 Was protected by the God of Trinity 

Why should I utter a treatise, 

Except of thee ? 

Who caused coin 

Of current silver ? 

When is so current 

A car so prickly ; 

Death having a foundation. 

In every country is shared. 

Death above our head, 
70 Wide is its covering. 

High above the canopy of heaven. 

Man is oldest when he is born. 

And is younger (and) younger continually, 

What is there to be anxious about, 

Of the present attainment ? 

After a want of property, 

Does it not make to us a shortness of life ? 

Enough of sadness. 

The visitation of the grave. 
80 And the One that made us, 

From the supreme country. 

Be he our God, and bring us 

To him at the end ! 



The Elegy of the Thousand Sons. 
book of ta.liessin il 

Text, vol. ii. p. 109. Notes, vol. ii. p. 397. 

I. 2^ WILL offer a prayer to the Trinity, 
May the Eternal grant me to praise thee ! 
In the present course, dangerous 
Our work ; destruction is a slight impulse of wrath. 
They reckon of the saints a tribe. 
King of heaven, may I be eloquent about thee ! 
Before the separation of my soul from my flesh. 
Thou particularly knowest in what is my sin. 

IL Thy entreaty before the paternal governance 
May there be to me from the Trinity mercy ! 
I adore, I earnestly long for the elements of blood, 
Nine degrees of the mystic troops of heaven, 
And the tenth, saints a preparation of sevens. 
Heroic numberer of languages, 
A conspicuous sea-shoal of goodly increase. 
A number that God will watch with extreme love. 
In heaven, in earth, at the end, 
In straits, in expanse, in form, 
In body, in soul, in habit, 
Prudence (is) far from the presence of kings. 
I adore thee, Euler of the land of peace. 
Let my soul be in a condition of life ; 
For ever in (his) court ; 
A servant of heaven (to be), he will not refuse me. 

III. Apostles and martyrs, 

Youths, supplicants of glory, 
VOL. I. 2 N 


And Solomon (that) served God : 
Of pure speech, of pure walk, thy quality 
And a verdant gift will come to me. 
As long as I keep my faculties. 
Numbers there were clean and holy. 
Steps, golden columns of the church. 
And many writers have declared. 
Skilled in the fully-holy books, 
For the multitude discarded anxiety. 
May my soul be defended from it ! 

IV. A number there were in the inconcurrence 
Of Uffem, a cold refuge ; 
During the five ages of the world, 
Until when Christ loosened the bondage. 
From the deep shore of the abyss of evil 
Many God brought through protection. 
Two thousand sons of the children of Ilia. 
A bimatu et infra 
Slew the amistra, 
Edris ertri kila 

The tears of Eachel, it was seen that a plague 
Had come to Jerusalem. 

V. The number of the saints of Armorica, 
And a number in the form of Toronia, 
That had broken the advanced Caer of Eoma. 
And Poll and Alexandria 
And Garanwys and Indra 
Tres partes divicia 
Asicia, Affrica, Europa. 

Vl. The number of the saints in Caphamaum, Marituen, 
and Naim, 


And Zabulon and Cisuen and Ninifen and Neptalini 

In Dubriactus and Zorim 

In it prophesied Christ, the son of Mary, daughter of 

Joachim ; 
From the chief temple of the chief infidel nation. 

VIL The number of the saints of Erechalde, 
The fame far of the castle of Maria. 
That broke not again Syloe 
Ecclesie retunde 
Phalatie cesarie 
Amanion amabute, 
And the valleys of Bersabe. 

And before the Christian religion the men of Cai-tasine, 
And the severely just ones of Retunde, 
The languages, Greek and Hebrew, 
And Latin, men of gleaming pervasion. 

VIII. The number of saints in scores. 
Valiant men, golden their party. 
Before kings a career of praise, 
Warriors, no one was before them in demanding. 
In straits, in expanse, in every need, 
May they be a city to our body and our soul ! 

IX. The number of the saints of Sicomorialis, 
And isle of Deffrobani. 
And the holy multitude that blessed 
Water, wine, hostile men destroyed. 
And entreating his exalted weight, 
Under the stars, saints he planted. 

X. The number of the saints that the upper region holds, 
Effectus re inferior 
A superare superior 


And armonim and thyfor 

And the valley of Enor and Segor, 

And Carthage the greater and the less, 

And the green isle, the boundary of the sea. 

XI. The number of the saints of the Isle of Prydein, 
And Iwerdon, a gentle portion. 
Multitudes, of beautiful works, 

Believed, served with us. 

XII, The number of saints, a synod without desire. 
From God the divine prophesy. 

In every tongue they compose. 
About the earth they were, 
And so many wisely prophesied 
Christ, and before he was, they were. 

XIII. The number of the saints of the East, 
.A.nd the concord of the nation of Judah. 
Languages of Greek -and Hebrew, 

And Latin, men of gleaming pervasion. 

XIV. Seven scores, seven scores, seven hundreds of saints. 
And seven thousands and seven ten scores, 
November a number implored. 

Through martyrs good they came. 
Fifteen scores of saints there were 
And three thousand children of Morialis. 
In these Decembers above relatives 
Over the head of Jesus utter sighs. 

XV. Twelve thousand in the convention ' 

Believed through the voice of John. 
They worship, they deserve a portion, 
In heaven they will not be angry. 


XVI. Nine thousand saints received 

Baptism, and religion, and confession. 
Notwithstanding death the punishment of people 

(is) heat, 
Uffern, cold its refuge. 
If the Lord hath satisfied us, 
Through the head of Peter was made the destitute. 

XVII. Qui venerunt angli 
In natale Domini 
Media nocte in laudem 
Cum pastoribus in Bethleem. 
Nivem angli de celo 
Cum Michaele archanglo 
Qui precedunt precelio 
Erga animas in mundo 
Am nivem nivem angeli. 
Precedunt confirmati 
Vnistrati baptizati 
Usque in diem judicii. 
Quando fuit Christus crucifixus ut sibi 
Ipsi placuisset venissent ibi in auxilium 
Plusquam duodecim legiones angelorum. 
Toto orbe terrarum. 

Jesus Christus videntem in agonia in mundo. 
Ut sint nostri auxilium 
Duodecim milia miliantem 
Ante tribunal stantem. 
Qui laudantie laudantium 
Tues mores rex regum. 

xviii. The number that have been, and wUl be, 

Above heaven, below heaven, how many there ar»^. 
And as many as have believed in revelation, 


Believed through the will of the Lord. 

As many as are on wrath through the circles, 

Have mercy, God, on thy kindred. 

May I be meek, the turbulent Kuler, 

May I not endure, before I am without motion. 

Grievously complaineth every lost one. 

Hastily claimeth every needy one. 

An exceedingly displeased mind will not run 

From (its) present course, when I am angry. 

I will declare when I am in the gravel, 

From the maintenance of gifts, 

From being numbered, from going to be a martyr 

In the reckoning of Saint Segerno. 

From a word when sin may be to me, 

Let there be no sigh from those that hear me. 


The Pleasant Things of Taliessin. 

BOOK OF taliessin IV. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 116. Notes, vol. ii. p. 398. 

^.^L PLEASANT virtue, extreme penance to an extreme 

course ; 
Also pleasant, when God is delivering me. 
Pleasant, the carousal that hinders not mental exertion ; 
Also pleasant, to drink together about horns. 
Pleasant is Nud, the superior wolf-lord ; 
Also pleasant, a generous one at Candlemas tide. 
Pleasant, berries in the time of harvest ; 
Also pleasant, wheat upon the stalk. 
Pleasant, the sun moving in the firmament ; 
10 Also pleasant, the retaliators of outcries. 

Pleasant, a steed with a thick mane in a tangle ; 


Also pleasant, crackling fuel. 

Pleasant, desire, and silver fringes ; 

Also pleasant, the conjugal ring. 

Pleasant, the eagle on the shore of the sea when it flows ; 

Also pleasant, sea-gulls playing. 

Pleasant, a horse with gold-enamelled trappings ; 

Also pleasant to be honest in a breach. 

Pleasant, liquors of the mead-brewer to the multitude ; 
20 Also pleasant, a songster generous, amiable. 

Pleasant, the open field to cuckoos and the nightingale ; 

Also pleasant when the weather is serene. 

Pleasant, right, and a perfect wedding ; 

Also pleasant, a present that is loved. 

Pleasant, a meal from the penance of a priest ; 

Also pleasant to bring to the altar. 

Pleasant, mead in a court to a minstrel. 

Also pleasant, the limiting a great crowd. 

Pleasant, the catholic clergy in the church, 
30 Also pleasant, a minstrel in the hall. 

Pleasant to bring back the divisions of a parish ; 

Also pleasant to us the time of paradise. 

Pleasant, the moon, a luminary in the heavens ; 

Also pleasant where there is a good rememberer. 

Pleasant, summer, and slow long day ; 

Also pleasant to pass out of chastisement. 

Pleasant, the blossoms on the tops of the pear-trees ; 

Also pleasant, friendship with the Creator. 

Pleasant, the solitary doe and the fawn ; 
40 Also pleasant, the foamy horseblock. 

Pleasant, the camp when the leek flourishes ; 

Also pleasant, the charlock in the springing com. 

Pleasant, a steed in a leather halter ; 

Also pleasant, alliance with a king. 

Pleasant, the hero that destroys not the yielding ; 


Also pleasant, the splendid Cymraec language. 
Pleasant, the heath when it is green ; 
Also pleasant, the salt marsh for cattle. 
Pleasant, the time when calves draw milk ; 
50 Also pleasant, foamy horsemanship. 
And what is pleasant to me is no worse. 
And the paternal horn by mead-nonrished payment. 
Pleasant, the directing of fish in the pond ; 
Also pleasant, calling about to play. 
Pleasant, the word that utters the Trinity ; 
Also pleasant, extreme penance for sin. 
Pleasant, the summer of pleasantness ; 
Communion with the Lord, in the day of judgment. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 118. Notes, vol. ii. p. 398. 

<^ GOD, the God of formation, 
Euler, strengthener of blood. 
Christ Jesus, that guards, 
Princes loud-proclaiming go their course. 
For a decaying acquisition. 
It will not make me without shares, 
The praising thy mercy. 
There hath not been here ; 
O supreme Euler ; 
10 There hath not been; there will not be. 
One so good as the Lord. 

There hath not been born in the day of the people 
Any one equal to God. 
And no one will acknowledge 
Any one equal to him. 


Above heaven, below heaven, 

There is no Euler but he. 

Above sea, below sea, 

He created us. 
20 When God comes 

A great noise will pierce us. 

The day of judgment terribly. 

Messengers from the door, 

Wind, and sea, and fire. 

Lightning and thunder. 

A number without flattery. 

The people of the world groaning 

Will be concealed. A reaching arm will be brought. 

Will be concealed the sea and stars, 
30 When the Father descends. 

To take vengeance with his hosts 

With trumpets penetrating into the four regions. 

And to set the sea on fire. 

The nations of the world will be burnt, 

Until they are reduced to ashes. 

Was burnt the desert portion 

Before his great presence. 

He will draw a stream 

Before his front rank. 
40 Kings will shudder (that) day. 

Woe awaits them ! 

When the recompenser shall appear, 

Let the heaven appear below. 

A ruddy wind will be brought 

Out to the cinder, 

Until the world is as desolate 

As when created. 

Saint Peter says it. 

The day of the earth ; 


50 There will come a Saturday, 

The earth in one furnace. 

Saturday, a clear morning ; 

The love-dififusing (Lord) will separate us. 

The land of worldly weather, 

A wind will melt the trees : 

There will pass away every tranquillity 

"When the mountains are burnt 

There will be again inhabitants 

"With horns before kings ; 
60 The mighty One will send them, 

Sea, and land, and lake. 

There will be again a trembling terror, 

And a moving of the earth. 

And above every field, 

And ashes the rocks will be ; 

With violent exertion, concealment, 

And burning of lake. 

A wave do ye displace, 

A shield do ye extend 
70 To the travelling woe, 

And violent exertion through grief. 

And inflaming through fury 

Between heaven and earth. 

When the Trinity shall come 

To the field of its majesty, 

The host of heaven about it, 

An extensive tribe near it, 

Songs and minstrels. 

And the hymns of angels, 
80 Wni raise from the graves. 

They will entreat from the beginning. 

They will entreat together publicly, 

On so great a destiny. 


Those whom the sea has destroyed 

Will make a great shout, 

At the time when cometh 

He, that will separate them. 

As many as are mine. 

Let them go to the right. 
90 Those that have done evil. 

Let them go to the left side. 

Do not thy passions counteract 

What thy lips utter ? 

Thy going in thy course into valleys, 

Dark without lights. 

And mine were his words. 

And mine were his languages. 

And mine was his bright country, 

And their hundred fulnesses. 
100 The hundredth country present. 

I have not been without battle. 

Bitter afdiction was frequent 

Between me and my cousins. 

Frequent trials fell 

Between me and my fellow-countrymen. 

There was frequent contention 

Between me and the wretched. 

This ever overcame me, 

Man would never do it. 
110 (Those) that placed me on the cross 

I knew when young. 

That drove me on the tree, 

My head hung down. 

Stretched were my two feet, 

So sad their destiny. 

Stretched with extreme pain 

The bones of my feet. 


Stretched were my two arms, 

Their burden will not be. 
120 Stretched were my two shoulders. 

So diligently it was done. 

Stretched were the nails, 

Within my heart. 

Stretched was the spiking. 

Between my two eyes. 

Thick are the holes 

Of the crown of thorns in my head. 

The lance was struck 

And my side was pierced. 
130 It will be struck to you also, 

As your right hand (struck me). 

To you there will be no forgiveness, 

For piercing me with spears. 

And the Euler we knew not 

When thou wert hung. 

Euler of heaven, Euler of every people ! 

We knew not, Christ ! that it was thou. 

If we had known thee, 

Christ, we should have refrained from thee. 
140 A denial will not be received 

From the race of the lower country. 

Ye have committed wickedness 

Against the Creator. 

A hundred thousand angels 

Are to me witnesses, 

Who came to conduct me 

After my hanging, 

When hanging cruelly, 

Myself to deliver me 
150 In heaven there was trembling 

When I had been hung. 


When I cried out Eli I 

God love-prospering above heaven. 

And sing ye, the two Johns, 

Before me the two primary parts. 

With two hooks in your hands, 

Reading them. 

There would not come a great difficulty 

160 And yours will be flattery, 

The value of your foolish speech. 

Dissolution will close 

Upon you to moist Uffem. 

Christ Jesus high hath founded three hundred 
thousand years, 

Since he is in life, 

And a second thousand before the cross 

Shone Enoch. 

Do not the brave know 

The greatness of their progeny ? 
170 A country present will meet thee, 

And while it may possibly be yours, 

Three hundred thousand years save one, 

A short hour of the day of everlasting life. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 178. Notes, vol. iL p. 410. 

i^'N the face of the earth his equal was not born. 
Three persons of God, one Son gentle, strong Trinity. 
Son of the Godhead, Son of the Manhood, one son 

Son of God, a fortress, Son of the blessed Mary, a good 
son to see. 


Great his destiny, great God supreme, a glorious portion. 

Of the race of Adam, and Abraham he was born. 

Of the race of the Lord, a portion of the eloquent host, 
was he born. 

He brought by a word the blind and deaf from every 

A people gluttonous, vain, iniquitous, vile, perverse, 
10 We have risen against the Trinity, after redemption. 

The Cross of Christ clearly, a breastplate gleaming against 
every ailment. 

Against every hardship may it be certainly a city of pro- 





The Plagues of Egypt. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 170. Notes, vol. ii. p. 409. 

J^ltlHE Hebrews took upon the sons of Israel, 

High in mind, 

A joint number in succession. 

They approached. 

God kept vengeance 

On the people of Pharaonus. 

Ten plagues paining 

Before their being drowned 

In the bottomless sea, 
10 The first plague, fish destroying 

With unusual cold. 

The second plague, frogs abundant, 

They filled the rivers, 

The houses and furniture. 

And couches, 

And closets of meat. 

The third, gnats. 

Bold and sharp, were arranged. 

The fourth, a" sharp watery humour 
20 Strikes in the manner of winged insects. 

Next were devoured 

The fruits of the trees and the field 

By a crop of flies. 


The fifth, murrain. 

On all the children 

Of the Egyptians, 

Animals were destroyed. 

With a heavy disease 

They were all smitten. 
30 The sixth, without deceit, 

Sweating imposthumes, 

The scars of ants. 

The seventh, thunder. 

Hail and fire, 

And rain destructive. 

Wind blasting the tops, 

On leaves and shrubs. 

The eighth, locusts, 

Broad their ears, 
40 Devouring flowers. 

The ninth, prodigious 

To be spoken of, terrible, 

Like waves floating 

Black darkness. 

With a countenance gloomy. 

Tenth, in the night 

The greatest affliction 

On the people of the tribes, 

Christ Jesus, Christians, are prostrate 
50 Until they are in shelter. 

The six hundred warriors 

Of the Hebrew soldiers. 



The Eod of Moses. 
book of taliessin xxiv. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 173. Notes, vol. ii. p. 409. 

^B\EOM every return his host of brothers he rencoun- 

Advantage acknowledged to Christ the Euler, portion of 

The glorious God sits on the lap of Mary his counterpart. 

The course of truth, perfect nobility, a pattern of thee. 

Eods of Jesse, thy people Judah rencountered. 

Dexterous Lord, courteous, faultless, of gentle concord. 
In respect of the earth, in the temple of Solomon, foundation 

of impulse, 
10 The door of Paradise ; shepherd of God ; profoundly he 

Was it not heard from learned prophets 
That the birth of Jesus had taken place ; during his life, 
That there would be life to all kings, a life prepared or 

Before thou wouldst have caused, if I had not recorded the 

He brought what was bright ; he did not cease from the 

On the sea deep, when descended thy emotion. 
A country native brought not the greatly-kind ; be to me 

from thee 
The greatness of thy tribulation ; be to me thy grace, rods 

of Jesse, 
And the grace of Jesus, glittering its flowers. 
VOL. I. 2 


20 Great miracle in his mind from the gifts of God, 

He was a judge ; a judge he was ; a dexterous divine. 
A man of counsel to every obedient one against falsehood. 
He is a bright tenure of a number of generations. 

Bold will be the opposition to the only Son of Mary, to 
worship the Lord. 

The youth ready to assist, from God he sprang, whether he 
be knowing, whether he be simple. 

Thy foreholding, coeval with perfect trees, 

Had been expanded beautifully from the lap of Jesus. 

And to give grace, the king of sons, 

A new melody men will not greatly listen to. 

True his grace, a youth of support, without a lord. 

The evolver of every elevation before Druids. 

Nudris they knew not, a gentle sight to see Mabon. 

They brought frankincense and hard gold from Ethiopia. 

O fate-impelling God, O God the ruler, king of the states of 
progression ! 

The cruel Herod was not oppressive in the shroud of death. 

Thy pained failure, a country owning sons, 
40 When the Lord went away, when overwhelmed 

Nilus, and a wintry blast brought Herod to the grave. 

Perfect nobleness in the city of Nazareth, 

He went not to a country possessing melody. 

There will be a resuscitation ; may I be bold in thy grace, 
in the country of the exalted company. 

The birth of the Lord was brought by the possessor of a 
legion of angels. 




Text, vol. ii. p. 179. Notes, vol. ii. p. 410. 

J^LND God the possessor, God the regulator, merciful 

Great, wonderful, when thou protectedst me through the 

The hosts of Moses, sovereign Lord, woe their dispersion ! 
Pharaoh and his host perceived them, cursing the cause, 
And to sea thou madest new the cause. 
Did he not allure them through an inundation that drowns 

birds ? 
From where the sun rises to the west there was land. 
Thou wouldst protect those that thou lovest from every 

Except hosts, vehement their shout, heavy their din. 
10 And protect us also from the miseries of Uffern fierce. 
And God the possessor, God the regulator, merciful diviner, 
Thine is the country of heaven, it is in peace that thou 

There is not weariness, nor want in thy country, Lord. 
No one will be ordered ; no one will be an enemy to 

I would have known, if I had understood, for shame. 
That thou lovest, the Holy Trinity, any one that is skilful. 
Bards disparage you ; they love much for ever. 
That was not vile, the Israel which thou placedst in the 

hand of David. 
Alexander had a large number of men. 
20 He would not have been strong, had he not thy friendship, 
With his armies and great battles and his tortuous hosts. 
When they came to the land they were sad in their death. 


Solomoii the judge contained the land, he was better than 

Son of kings. He was accustom ed to riches for his auxiliary. 
The sons of Jacob were rich on their land ; 
What they liked, they shared according to the word of the 

Abel, innocent, was prosperous, and took the faith. 
His brother Cain was headstrong, evil his counsel. 
Aser and Soyw in the clear air, their co-operators. 
30 A star-angel conducteth a number before their warriors. 
With the wand of Moses, him and his hosts on their land. 

The talkative and dumb and wise and bold were redressed, 
Euler protect, one protection to those that deserve death. 
I also will praise the abode of hosts, the dwelling of 

I also will praise the best repository that overflows the 

The chief kingdom that Jonah brought from the centre of 

The nation of Nineveh, he was a man that joyfully preached. 
Queens over sea had the shadow of the Lord, that protected 

40 And Maria Mary, daughter of Anna, great her penitence. 
Through thy generosity and mercy, King of the world ! 
May there be to us, in the cities of heaven, admission to 


• CIV. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 206. Notes, vol. ii. p. 420. 

J|[^HE eternal Trinity 
Made the element, 


And after the element, 

Adam wonderfully. 

And after Adam, 

Well he made Eva. 

The blessed Israel 

The mighty Spirit made. 

Ardent the suggestion, 
10 Clear the reasoning. 

Twelve towns of Israel, rising equally high, 

Twelve sons of Israel, the generous God made. 

Twelve sons of Israel were nursed together. 

Twelve good, blameless, three mothers nursed 

One person created them, the Creator made them. 

As he will do as he pleases, who is supreme. 

Twelve sons of Israel made the love-diffuser. 

As he will do as he pleases, who is Lord. 

Twelve sons of Israel made the Lord. 
20 As he will do as he pleases, who is skilful. 

Twelve sons of Israel bore reward 

Of the mission of Jesus. 

And one father there was to them. 

And three mothers to them. 

From them came grace 

And good offspring. 

And Mary, good, created. 

And Christ, my strengthener, ' ,. 

Lord of every fair country. 
30 And I will call on and sing to thee every day ; 

Foi' has been my desire 

Friendship with thee. 




The Contkived World. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 177. Notes, vol. ii p. 410. 

J^^E was dexterous that fairly ruled over a country, 

He was most generous, with most beautiful queens. 

He was a violent poison of woe to his fellow-countrymen. 

He broke upon Darius three times in battle. 

And he will not be a dwarf shrub in the country of the 
plumed Darius. 

Strenuous, far he conquered, the wood-pushing overtook 

Alexander ; in the golden fetters of woe he is imprisoned. 

He was not long imprisoned ; death came. 

And where he had moving of armies, 
10 No one before him was exalted, 

To go to the grave, rich and prosperous, from the pleasure, 

The generous Alexander took him there. 

The land of Syr and Siryol, and the land of Syria, 

And the land of Diuifdra, and land of Dinitra ; 

The land of Persia and Mersia, and the land of Canna ; 

And the isles of Pleth and Pletheppa ; 

And the state of Babilon and Agascia 

Great, and the land of Galldarus, little its good. 

Until the earth produced, sod was there. 
20 And they do their wills by hunting them. 

They render hostages to Europa, 


And plunder the countries of the peoples of the earth. 

Furiously they pierce women, they impel here. 

Before the burned ones there was a devastation of modesty, 

Of battles when the sorrow was mentioned. 

They satisfy the ravens, they make a head of confused 

The soldiers of the possessor of multitudes, when they 

are mentioned. 
Nor a country to thy young men, when it is destroyed. 
There will not be for thy riddance, a riddance of burthen. 
30 From the care of the fetter and its hardship. 

A hundred thousand of the army died from thirst : 
False their plans with their thousands. 
Was poisoned his youth before he came home. 
Before this, it would have been better to have been 

To my lord land-prospering, a country glorious, 
One country may the Lord, the best region connect. 
May I reform, may I be satisfied. Be with thee the 

And as many as hear me, be mine their unity. 
May they satisfy the will of God before the clothing of 

the sod. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 179. Notes, vol. ii. p. 410. 

W WONDER that there is not proclaimed 
An acknowledgment of heaven to the earth. 
Of the coming of a giant Ruler, 
Alexander the Great. 
Alexander, possessor of multitudes. 
Passionate, iron-gifted. 


Eminent for sword-strokes. 

He went under the sea, 

Under the sea he went, 
10 To seek for science. 

Whoever seeks science, 

Let him be clamorous in mind. 

He went above the wind, 

Between two griffins on a journey, 

To see a sight. 

A sight he saw. 

The present was not sufficient. 

He saw a wonder. 

A superiority of lineage with fishes. 
20 What he desired in his mind. 

He had from the world. 

And also at his end 

With God, mercy. 







Text, vol. ii. p. 245. Notes, vol. ii. p. 432. 

I. J^ET the cock's comb be red ; naturally loud 
Be his voice, from his triumphant bed : 
Man's rejoicing, God will recommend. 

II. Let the swineherds be merry at the sighing 
Of the wind ; let the silent be graceful ; 
Let the vicious be accustomed to misfortune. 

III. Let the bailiff impeach ; let evil be a tormentor ; 
Let clothes be fitting ; 
He that loves a bard, let him be a handsome giver. 

rv. Let a monarch be vehement, and let him be brave ; 
And let there be a hurdle on the gap ; 
He will not show his face that will not give. 


V. Fleet let the racers be on the side 

Of the mountain ; let care be in the bosom ; 
Unfaithful let the inconstant be. 

VI. Let the knight be conspicuous ; let the thief be wary ; 
The rich woman may be deceived ; 
The friend of the wolf is the lazy shepherd. 

VII. Let the knight be conspicuous : fleet be the horse ; 
Let the scholar be ambitious ; 
Let the prevaricating one be unfaithful. 

VHL Let cows be round-backed ; let the wolf be gray ; 
Let the horse over barley be swift ; 
Like gossamer will he press the grain at the roots. 

IX. Let the deaf be bent ; let the captive be heavy ; 
Nimble the horse in battles ; 
Like gossamer will he press the grain the ground. 

X. Let the deaf be dubious : let the rash be inconstant ; 
Let the mischievous wrangle ; 
The prudent need but be seen to be loved. 

XL Let the lake be deep ; let the spears be sharp ; 

Let the brow of the sick be bold at the shout of war ; 
Let the wise be happy — God commends him, 

xiL Let the exile wander ; let the brave be impulsive ; 
Let the fool be fond of laughter. 

xiii. Let the furrows be wet ; let bail be frequent ; 

Let the sick be complaining, and the one in health merry ; 
Let the lapdog snarl ; let the hag be peevish. 


xrv. Let him that is in pain cry out ; let an army be moving ; 
Let the well-fed be wanton ; 
Let the strong be bold ; let the hill be icy. 

XV. Let the gull be white ; let the wave be loud ; 
Let the gore be apt to clot on the ashen spear ; 
Let the ice be gray ; let the heart be bold. 

XVI. Let the camp be green ; let the suitor be reproachless ; 
Let there be pushing of spears in the defile ; 
Let the bad woman be with frequent reproaches. 

XVII. Let the hen be clawed ; let the lion roar ; 
Let the foolish be pugnacious ; 
Let the heart be broken with grief. 

xviiL Let the tower be white ; let the harness glitter ; 
Let there be beauty — many will desire it ; 
Let the glutton hanker ; let the old man mediate. 



Text, vol. ii. p. 247. Notes, vol. ii. p. 433. 

I. 'IStSUAL is wind from the south ; usual is noise 
In the village ; usual for the weakling to be slender ; 
Usual for a man to inquire after news. 
Usual for a foster-child to have dainties. 

II. Usual is wind from the east ; usual for a man with 
swelling breast to be 
Proud ; usual for the thrush to be among thorns ; 


Usual against oppression is an outcry ; 
Usual for crows to find flesh in a nook. 

III. Usual is wind from the north ; usual for maids to be 
Lovely ; usual, a handsome man in Gwynedd ; 
Usual for a prince to provide a feast ; 

Usual after drinking is derangement of the senses. 

IV. Usual is wind from the sea ; usual for the high tide to 
Overflow ; usual for a sow to breed vermin ; 

Usual for swine to turn up the ground for earth-nuts. 

V. Usual is wind from the mountain ; usual a plash 
In the plain ; usual to find thatch in the meadows ; 

Usual are leaves, tender shoots, and trees. 

VI. Usual an eagle's nest in the top of the oak , 
And in the congress-house^ men of renown ; 
The eye of the fond one is on whom he loves. 

VII. Usual is the day with a blazing fire in the hurried 
Of winter, with the eloquent men of spears ; 
Usual for the hearth of the faithless to be a desert. 

VIII. Dried is the reed ; there is flood in the brook ; 
The commerce of the Saxon is with money ; 
Unhappy is the soul of the mother of unfaithful children. 

IX. The leaf is driven by the wind ; 
Woe to it as to its fate ; 
It is old — this year it was born. 


X. Though it may be small, yet ingeniously 
Do the birds build in the summit of trees ; 
Of equal age will be the good and the happy. 

XI, Cold and wet is the mountain ; cold and gray the ice ; 
Trust in God — he will not deceive thee ; 
Persevering patience will not leave thee long afflicted. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 249. Notes, vol. ii. p. 433. 

I. Jp^lHE Calends of winter, hard is the grain ; 
The leaves are on the move, the plash is full ; 
In the morning before he sets off, 
Woe to him that trusts to a stranger. 

II. The Calends of winter, the time of pleasant gossiping, 
The gale and the storm keep equal pace ; 

It is the work of the wise to keep a secret. 

III. The Calends of winter, the stags are lean. 

Yellow, the tops of birch, deserted the summer dwelling ; 
Woe to him who for a trifle deserves disgrace. 

IV. The Calends of winter, the tops of the branches are bent ; 
Uproar from the mouth of the vicious is common ; 
Where there is no natural gift there will be no learning. 

V. The Calends of winter, blustering is the weather. 
Unlike the beginning of summer ; 
Except God, there is none that divines. 


VL The Calends of winter, gay the plumage of birds ; 
Short the day ; loud the cuckoos ; 
Mercifully has the most beneficent God made them, 

VII. The Calends of winter, it is hard and dry ; 

Very black is the raven, quick the arrow from the bow ; 
At the stumbling of the old, the smile of the youth is 
apt to break out. 

VIII. The Calends of winter, lean is the stag : 

Woe to the weak ! if he chafes, it will be but for a short 

while ; 
Truly better is amiability than beauty. 

IX. The Calends of winter, bare is where the heath is burnt, 
The plough is in the furrow ; the ox at work ; 
Amongst a hundred there is hardly a friend. 


Text, vol. ii p. 250. Notes, vol. ii. p. 434. 

I. J^NTANGLING is the snare, clustered is the ash ; 
The ducks are in the pond ; white breaks the wave ; 
More powerful than a hundred is the counsel of the 

II. Long the night, boisterous is the sea-shore ; 
Usual a tumult in a congregation ; 
The vicious will not agree with the good. 

IIL Tx)ng the night, boisterous is the mountain. 
The wind whistles over the tops of trees ; 
Ill-nature will not deceive the discreet. 


IV. The saplings of the green-topped birch 
Will extricate my foot from the shackle ; 
Disclose not thy secret to a youth. 

V. The saplings of oaks in the grove 
Will extricate my foot from the chain ; 
Disclose no secret to a maid. 

VI. The saplings of the leafy oaks 

Will extricate my foot from the prison ; 
Divulge no secret to a babbler. 

VII. The saplings of bramble have berries on them ; 
The thrush is on her nest ; 
And the liar will never be silent. 

VIII. Eain without, the fern is drenched ; 

White the gravel of the sea ; there is spray on the margin ; 
Eeason is the fairest lamp for man. 

IX. Eain without, near is the shelter, 

The furze yellow ; the cow-parsnip withered and dry ; 
God the Creator ! why hast thou made a coward ? 

X. Eain without, my hair is drenched ; 

Full of complaint is the feeble ; steep the cliff ; 
Pale white is the sea ; salt is the brine. 

XI. Rain without, the ocean is drenched ; 

The wind whistles over the tops of the reeds ; 
After every feat, still without the genius. 




Text, vol. ii. p. 251, Notes, vol. ii. p. 434. 

I. ]^]^ EIGHT are the ash-tops ; tall and white will they be 
When they grow in the upper part of the dingle ; 
The languid heart, longing is her complaint. 

II. Bright is the top of the cliff at the long midnight hour; 
Every ingenious person will be honoured. 
It is the duty of the fair one to afford sleep to him in 

III. Bright are the wiUow-tops ; playful the fish 

In the lake ; the wind whistles over the tops of the 

branches ; 
Nature is superior to learning. 

IV. Bright the tops of the furze ; have confidence 
In the wise ; and to the unwise be repulsive ; 
Except God, there is none that divines. 

V. Bright the tops of the clover ; the timid has no heart ; 
Jealous ones weary themselves out ; 
Usual is care upon the weak. 

VI. Bright the tops of reed-grass ; furious is the jealous, 
And he can hardly be satisfied ; 
It is the act of the wise to love with sincerity. 

VII. Bright the mountain-tops ; from the bluster of winter, 
Withered and drooping is the tall grass ; 
Against famine there is no bashfulness. 


VIII. Bright the mountain-tops ; intruding is the cold of 
Winter ; brittle are the reeds ; rime is over the grave ; 
Imprudence committed violence in banishment. 

IX. Bright the tops of the oak ; bitter the ash-branches ; 
Sweet the cow-parsnip, the wave keeps laughing ; 
The cheek will not conceal the anguish of the heart. 

X. Bright the tops of the dogrose ; hardship has no formality ; 
Let every one preserve his purity of life. 
The greatest blemish is ill-manners. 

XI. Bright the tops of the broom ; let the lover make 
assignations ; 
Very yellow are the clustered branches ; 
Shallow ford ; the contented is apt to enjoy sleep. 

XII. Bright the tops of the apple-tree ; circumspect is 
Every prudent one, a chider of another ; 
And after loving, indiscretion leaving it. 

xnL Bright the tops of the apple-tree ; circumspect is 

Every prudent one ; in the long day a stagnant pool 

is malarious ; 
Thick is the veil on the light of the blind prisoner. 

XIV. Bright the hazel-tops by the hill of Digoll ; 
Unafflicted wiU be every squabby one ; 
It is an act of the mighty to keep a treaty. 

XV. Bright the tops of reeds ; it is usual for the sluggish 
To be heavy, and the young to be a learner ; 
None but the foolish will break the faith. 
VOL. L 2 P 


XVL Bright the tops of the lily ; let every bold one be a 
servitor ; 
The word of a family will prevail ; 
Usual with the faithless, a broken word. 

XVII. Bright the tops of the heath ; usual is miscarriage 

To the timid ; water will be intrusive in front of the 

shore ; 
Usual with the faithful, an unbroken word. 

xviii. Bright the tops of rushes ; cows are profitable, 
Kunning are my tears this day ; 
Comfort for the miserable there is not 

XIX. Bright the tops of fern, yellow 

The charlock ; how reproachless are the blind ; 
How apt to run about are youngsters ! 

XX. Bright the tops of the service-tree ; accustomed to care, 
Is the aged one, and bees to the wilds ; 
Except God, there is no avenger. 

XXI. Bright the tops of the oak ; incessant is the tempest ; 
The bees are high ; brittle the dry brushwood ; 
Usual for the wanton to laugh excessively. 

XXII. Bright the tops of the grove ; constantly the trees 
And the oak-leaves are falling ; 

Happy is he who sees the one he loves. 

XXIII. Bright the tops of the oaks ; coldly purls the stream; 
Let the cattle be fetched to the birch-enclosed area ; 
Abruptly goes the arrow of the haughty to give pain. 


XXIV. Bright the tops of the hard holly, and others ; let 
gold be distributed ; 
When all fall asleep on the rampart, 
God will not sleep when He gives deliverance. 

XXV. Bright the tops of the willows ; inherently bold 

WlU the war-horse be in the long day, when leaves 

are abounding ; 
Those that have mutual friendship will not despise 

one another. 

XXVI. Bright the tops of rushes ; prickly will they be 
When spread under the pillow ; 
The wanton mind will be haughty. 

XXVII. Bright the tops of the hawthorn ; confident is the 
sight of the steed ; 
It is usual for a lover to be a pursuer ; 
May the diligent messenger do good. 

xxvni. Bright the tops of cresses ; warlike is the steed ; 
Trees are fair ornaments for the ground ; 
Joyful the soul with what it loves. 

XXIX Bright is the top of the bush ; valuable the steed ; 
It is good to have discretion with strength ; 
Let the unskilful be made powerless. 

XXX. Bright are the tops of the brakes ; gay the plumage 
Of birds ; the long day is the gift of the light ; 
Mercifully has the most beneficent God made them. 


XXXI. Bright the tops of the meadow sweet ; and music 
In the grove ; bold the wind, the trees shake ; 
Interceding with the obdurate will not avail. 

xxxn. Bright the tops of the elder-trees ; bold is the solitary- 
songster ; 
Accustomed is the violent to oppress ; 
Woe to him who takes a reward from the hand. 


Text, vol. ii. p. 255. Notes, vol. ii. p. 434. 

I. j^> ITTING high upon a hill, battle-inclined is 
My mind, and it does not impel me onward : 
Short is my journey, my tenement is laid waste. 

II. Sharp is the gale, it is bare punishment to live ; 
When the trees array themselves in gay colours 
Of summer ; violently iU I am this day. 

III. I am no hunter, I keep no animal of the chase ; 
I cannot move about : 

As long as it pleases the cuckoo, let her sing ! 

IV. The loud-voiced cuckoo sings with the dawn, 
Her melodious notes in the dales of Cuawg : 
Better is the lavisher than the miser. 

V, At Aber Cuawg the cuckoos sing. 
On the blossom-covered branches : 
The loud-voiced cuckoo, let her sing a while ! 


VI. At Aber Cuawg the cuckoos sing, 
On the blossom-covered branches : 
Woe to the sick that hears their contented notes. 

VII. At Aber Cuawg the cuckoos sing : 
The recollection is in my mind ! 
There are that hear them that will not hear them again ! 

VIII. Have I not listened to the cuckoo on the ivied tree ? 
Did not my shield hang down ? 
What I loved is but vexation ; what I loved is no more. 

IX. High above the merry oak, 

I have listened to the song of birds. 

The loud cuckoo — every one remembers what he loves. 

X. Songstress with the solacing song ! her voice is grief- 
exciting : 
Subject to wander, with the flight of the hawk, 
The loquacious cuckoo at Aber Cuawg. 

XI. The birds are clamorous ; humid are the glens : 
Let the moon shine ; cold the midnight hour : 
Distracted is my mind from the torment of disorder. 

XII. White-topped is the cliff ; long the midnight hour : 
Every ingenious one will be honoured : 

I owe the indulgence of sleep to old age. 

XIII. The birds are clamorous ; the beach is wet : 
Let the leaves fall ; the exile is unconcerned : 
I will not conceal it, I am ill this night. 

XIV. The birds are clamorous ; the strand is wet : . 
Clear is the sky ; large the wave : 

The heart is palsied with longing. 


XV. The birds are clamorous ; the strand is wet : 
Conspicuous is the wave with its ample range : 
What was formed in my youth, 
I coiild love, if I could have it again, 

xvi. Clamorous are the birds on the scent ; 
Loud the cry of dogs in a desert ; 
Again clamorous are the birds. 

XVII. In the beginning of summer, gay are all varied seeds ! 
When the warriors hasten to the conflict, 
I do not go, infirmity will not leave me. 

xvm. In the beginning of summer, it is glorious on the course. 
When the warriors hasten to the field of battle ; 
I shall not go, infirmity separates me. 

XIX. Hoary is the mountain summit ; the tops of the ash are 
brittle : 
From the Abers the fair wave is impelled : 
Laughter is far from my heart. 

XX. What is it to me this day at the end of the month ? 
In the social banquet I have left it : 
Distracted is my mind ; a fever has made choice of me. 

XXL Quick is the sight of the sentinel ; 
Let the idle use courtesy : 
Distracted is my mind ; disease preys upon me. 

XXII. Eiches like a bowl encircling mead. 
The happy man will not wish for : 
It is a precious thing to know patience. 


xxiii. Eiches like a bowl round the cheering beverage, 
The gliding stream, the refreshing shower. 
And the deep ford : the mind is stirred to treachery, 

XXIV. To foment treachery is an iniquitous deed ; 

There will be pain where there will be purifying ; 
It is to sell a little for much. 

XXV. Let the wicked be fomenting treachery ; 
"When God will judge, at the long day, 
Dark will be falsehood, truth clear. 

XXVI. There is danger in repelling the graduated visitor ; 
Men are joyous over the beverage : 
Frail is the reed, of riches an emblem. 

XXVII. Hear the wave of sullen din, and loud, 
Amidst the pebbles and gravel : 
Distracted is my mind from delirium this night. 

xxviiL Branching is the top of the oak ; bitter the taste of 
the ash : 
Sweet the cow-parsnip ; the wave is laughing : 
The cheek wiU not conceal the affliction of the heart. 

xxix. The heaving sigh tells upon me. 

After my experience 

God wiU not bestow on the wicked what is good. 

XXX. To the wicked what is good wiU not be given ; 
But sorrow and anxiety : 
God will not undo what he is doing, 


XXXI. The son of sickness has been a brisk youth, he had 
An active share in the court of the king ; 

May God be propitious to the diviner ! 

XXXII. As to what is being done, it will come to pass, 
Let him that reads it consider : 

What is detested by man here, is detested by God 


Text, vol. ii. p. 273. Notes, vol. ii. p. 440. 

I. i§©AENWYN, when I was of thy age, 
My garment should not be trodden under foot, 
My land should not be ploughed without blood. 

II. Maenwyn, when I was opposed to thee, 
With youth attendant on me. 
The foe would not break my boimdary. 

III. Maenwyn, while I was in pursuit of thee, 
Following my youth, 

The foe loved not the fury of my resentment. 

IV. Maenwyn, while I was young and plump, 
Addicted to fierce slaughter, 

I would perform the acts of a man, though I was but a 

V. Maenwyn, take thy aim discreetly ; 

There is need of advice on him who is in error : i 
Let Maelgwn provide another mayor. 


VI. My choice is a portion, with its sheath on it, 
And sharp-pointed as a thorn ; 
It is not labour lost for me to whet a stone. 

VII. A present was bestowed on me from the vale 
Of Mewyrniawn, concealed in a bucket, 

A sharp iron projecting from the hand. 

VIII. Blessed be the solitary hag, 

That said from the door of her cell, 
" Maenwyn, do not deliver up thy knife." 





Text vol. ii. p. 241. Notes, vol. ii. p. 432. 

I. 5il?ilOUNTAIN snow — every region is white ; 
The raven is accustomed to sing. 
No good will come from long sleeping. 

II. Mountain snow — white the ravine ; 

From the assault of the wind trees will bend. 
Many a two may mutually love, 
But never come together. 

III. Mountain snow — the wind scatters it ; 
Broad the moon's orb, green the dock-leaves. 
The mischievous man is seldom without claim. 

IV. Mountain snow — fleet the hart ; 
Common in Prydein is a daring race. 
Understanding is necessary for the alien. 

V. Mountain snow — the hart in the warmth ; 
Ducks in the pond, white the foam. 
Slow is the aged, and easily overtaken. 

VI. Mountain snow — the hart is roaming ; 

The countenance smiles on whom one loves. 
As long as a tale is told me, 
I know where there is disgrace. 


VII. Mountain snow — the strand is white and pebbly ; 
The fishes in the ford may go to the cavern. 
Odious is he that imposes burdens. 

VIII. Mountain snow — the hart in the retreat ; 

It is usual for a chieftain to have splendid arms, 

And for misfortune to fall on the beard. 

IX. Mountain snow — the hart is plump and round ; 
I have said a great deal ; if I am not mistaken, 
This is unlike a summer day. 

X, Mountain snow — ^the hart is hunted ; 
The wind whistles over the eaves. 
Sin is a very great heap. 

XI. Mountain snow — the hart is leaping ; 

The wind whistles over the high white wall. 
It is natural the calm should be graceful. 

XII. Mountain snow — the hart in the vale ; 
The wind whistles above the house-top. 
Evil will not conceal itself where it is. 

XIII. Mountain snow — the hart on the strand ; 
The aged has lost his juvenility. 

makes a man captive. 

XIV. Mountain snow — the hart in the bush ; 
Thoroughly black the raven ; swift the young roebuck. 
If one is free and healthy, it is strange there should be 



XV. Mountain snow — the hart in the rushes ; 

Cold the quagmire ; the mead is in the brewing-tub. 
The injured is accustomed to complain. 

XVI. Mountain snow — variegated the front of the tower ; 
Let the cattle seek shelter. 
Woe to the wife that should get a bad husband. 

XVII. Mountain snow — variegated the side of the cliff ; 
Dried the stalk ; the water-lily droops. 
"Woe to the man that should have a bad wife. 

xviii. Mountain snow — the hart in the ditch ; 
Congenial to the thief is long night. 
Let the bees sleep in the shelter. 

XIX. Mountain snow — slow is 
The growth of the liverwort. 
The sluggard will not soon avenge an injury. 

XX. Mountain snow — the fish in the lake ; 

Proud the hawk ; people cluster around monarchs. 
Every one cannot get what he wishes. 

XXI. Mountain snow — red the top of the fir ; 
Wrathful the push of many spears. 
Alas, for longing, my brethren ! 

XXII. Mountain snow — swift the wolf ; 

The side of the desert he will penetrate. 

Every blemish is common on the destitute of zeal. 

XXIII. Mountain snow — not slow the hart ; 
Rain falls from the sky. 

Sorrow produces complete depression of spirits. 


XXIV. Mountain snow — noisy the roebuck ; 

The waves wash the margin of the strand ; 
Let the skilful conceal his design. 

XXV. Mountain snow — the hart in the glen ; 
Summer will be placid ; calm the lake. 

The gray-bearded in frost has a strong support. 

XXVI. Mountain snow — variegated the breast of the goose ; 
Strong my arm and shoulder. 

I pray that I may not be a hundred years old. 

XXVII. Mountain snow — bare the stalk-tops ; 

Bent the branches of trees ; the fish are in the deep. 
Where there is no learning there will be no natural 

XXVIII. Mountain snow — the fish in the ford ; 

Let the lean and stooping stag seek the sheltered vale. 
Longing for the dead will not avail. 

XXIX. Mountain snow — the hart in the wood ; 
The discreet will not walk on foot. 
The timid causes many a delay. 

XXX. Mountain snow — the hart on the slope ; 
The wind whistles over the ash-tops. 

A third foot for the aged is his stick. 

XXXI. Mountain snow — the hart is upon it ; 

The ducks are in the lake ; white the water-lily. 
The vicious is not disposed to listen. 


XXXII. Mountain snow — ^ruddy the feet of hens ; 
Shallow the water ; it makes much noise. 
The disgrace that is boasted of is augmented. 

XXXIII. Mountain snow — nimble the hart ; 
Hardly anything in the world interests me. 
Admonition to the depraved will not avail. 

XXXIV. Mountain snow — white its fleece ; 

XXXV. Mountain snow — white the roofs of houses ; 

If the tongue were to relate what the bosom knows, 
None would be neighbours. 

XXXVI. Mountain snow — let the wise move about in the day ; 
Let every pensive one be ill, every bush bare. 
It is usual that the imwise should have all faults. 



Text, vol iL p. 237. Notes, vol. ii. p. 431. 

Llewelyn and Gwmerth were two penitent saints at 
TraUwng in Powys ; and it was their custom to meet together 
during the last three hours of the night and the first three 
hours of the day to say their matins, and the hours of the day 
besides. And once upon a time Llewelyn, seeing the cell of 
Gwmerth shut, and not knowing why it was so, composed an 

I. ^]©OUNTAIN snow— wind about the bush ; 
It is the Creator of heaven that strengthens me. 
Is it asleep that Gwrnerth is ? 


II. Mountain snow — God above all things ; 
It is to Him I will pray. 

No ; I cannot sleep. 

III. Mountain snow — wind about the house ; 
It is so thou speakest 

What, Gwmerth, causes that ? 

IV. Mountain snow — wind from the south ; 
I will utter prime words. 

Most probably it is death. 

V. Mountain snow — white-topped the vale ; 

Every one is mild to him by whom he is cherished. 
May the Creator of heaven deliver thee ! 

VI. Mountain snow — white-topped the tree ; 
I will speak dififerently. 

There is no reftige against the decree of Heaven. 

VII. Mountain snow — every rite should be observed 
For fear of distressing anxiety in the day of doom. 
Shall I have the communion as a favour ? 

VIII. Mountain snow — wind about the house ; 
It is so thou speakest. 
Alas ! my brother, must that be ? 

IX. Thou highly-gifted ! thee I love ; 
It is to God I will pray. 
Llewelyn, it is high time I should receive it. 

X. Mountain snow — wind about the hill ; 
The Creator of heaven will have me. 
Is it asleep Llewelyn is ? 


XI. Mountain snow — wind from the south ; 
I will utter prime words. 
No ; I am chanting my hours. 

XII. Moimtain snow — it is easily known 
When the wind turns round a wall 
Knowest thou who says it ? 

XIII. Mountain snow — thou bold of speech, 
It is so thou speakest. 

I know not, unless thou wilt say. 

XIV. Mountain snow — every assistance 
Will receive becoming praise ; 
Thy brother Gwrnerth is here. 

XV. Foremost in the tumult and in energetic action 
Is every brave one, being impelled by his Awen ; 
What, Gwrnerth, is best for thee ? 

XVI. The first thing to be aimed at in every usage and action 
congenial to the brave. 
Is a pure life unto the day of judgment ; 
The best that I have found is alms-giving. 

XVII. Thou highly gifted with good qualities. 
The canon is on thy lips ; 

Tell me what alms the best. 

XVIII. Bold the Awen ; there is wind over the lake 
When the wave beats around the eminence ; 
The best is meat for hunger. 


XIX. If meat I cannot obtain. 

And with my hands cannot get in, 
Say what shall I then do ? 

XX. Foremost in the tumult and in energetic action 
Is every brave one, impelled by his Awen ; 
Give clothing to keep from nakedness. 

XXI. My clothes I will give, 

And myseK commend to God ; 

What recompense shall I then receive ? 

XXII. What good things thou givest on every opportunity, 
Bold in thy privilege keep thy countenance ; 

And thou shalt have heaven a hundredfold. 

XXIII. Since with the early dawn I love thee, 
It is in the form of verse I am asking, 
With God what one thing is most odious ? 

XXIV. Advantage, and Awen, and equality 
When water will run up the ascent ; 

The worst of deceit where there is confidence. 

XXV. If I practise deceit through confidence 
And to God Supreme confess, 
Wliat punishment will befall me ? 

XXVI. Shouldst thou practise deceit through confidence. 
Without faith, without religion, without belief, 
Thou shalt have sevenfold penance. 

XXVII. I will with the dawn believe thee, 
And for God's sake will ask, 
How shall I obtain heaven ? 
VOL. I. 2 Q 


XXVIII. Good and evil are not alike, 

As wind and smoke when contending ; 

Do good for the sake of God, who is not wrathful. 

XXIX. Bold is the Awen of every one that is patronised ; 
Horses are apt to run much about in hot weather. 
The end of all things is confession. 

XXX. What thou doest from all excess, 

From deception, and oppression, and arrogance, 
For God's sake make a full confession. 

Tyssilio, the son of Brochwael Ysgythrog, composed these 
verses concerning Gwrnerth's coming to perform his devotions 
with Llewelyn the saint, his companion ; and they are called 
the Colloquy of Llewelyn and Gwrnerth. 





Text, vol. ii. p. 293. Notes, voL ii. p. 450. 

J^IKE a wheel revolving immense courses, 

A weakening affliction is the severe compulsion of taxes, 

The unjust imposition of the ardent dragon of the mountains. 

Terrible is the conflict about the ports and ferries, 

And the hostilities of chieftains to chieftains. 

It is natural that Franks should be highly elated : they will 

come on a Thursday ; 
And for a lady's complaint there will be wars ; 
And the country will be wasted, and without laud ; 
And the key of Eome wiU be in the hands of commanders ; 
10 And the Allmyn will be unable to make assaults ; 

And there will be happiness to the Venedotians, who will 

resort to the South ; 
And weakness to the Saxon from his treaties. 
And long depravity from want of laws ; 
And Lloegyr will be enfeebled by the treachery of its 

And the thrusting of Franks, and tumult in ships, 
And the battle of Dovyr hastening death, 
A wonder for a long life to such as will hear it. 
There will be a wounding through the community owing 

to the disappearance of the partisans 
Of the guileless dragon, dark and light. 


20 Powerful chiefs of noble descent. 

And may He give us of his bounty a pledge 

Of a portion of his feast for ever without privation ! 



The Viaticum of Llevoed Wynebglawr. 
red book of hergest xxiv. 

Text, vol. ii. p. 304. Notes, vol. ii. p. 452. 

I. r^lftHE wealth of the world, let it go, it will come, 
As long as it is esteemed. 
Necessity equalises afiliction. 
There will be fair weather after rain. 
It is often the case that persons fostered by the same 

are unlike. 
The brave will play though blood may be shed. 
Every coward will be trampled upon ; 
Every strong one will be allowed to pass. 
The happy is pleased with harmonious sounds. 
Which God will freely pour upon him. 

II. The wealth of the world, let it go, it will come ; 
May God provide what suffices ! 
Loud is the noise of the wave against the la,nd ; 
"When called, it recedeth from it. 
Listless is the man that sees not. 
That is not concerned, that cares not what may be. 
"Where justice is not practised, it is not entertained in 

the country. 
Mass will not be sung on a flight. 
Let him be a wolf that dareth deceive. 
Desirous will the scholar be that Llawddino should 



III. The wealth of the world, let it go, it will come. 
Desire calls for the return of liberty. 

The height of the young will increase. 

Lying praise will not be borrowed. 

The slave and the free are not of tlie same design. 

Empty the country, where there is no religion. 

There will be a return which will not be repeated. 

Cold does not agree with the hoar}^ 

The unbeliever does not think of God. 

No one that does not improve is called skilful. 

Let us observe and acquire religion, 

Until we have relationship with Christ. 

IV. The unsociable man is uncomely in the place of gathering. 
Trouble in the upland, enmity in the vale. 

A refusal is better than a false promise. 

In one's actions servility is supererogatory. 

The sweet is seldom unpleasant. 

The evil done by a fellow will survive after he has 

passed away. 
An excuse is not usually regarded. 
Good cannot be had without deserts. 
The four quarters open deeply in four different ways. 
It is a saying that death is better than trouble. 
Bad is sin from its being far pursued. 
It is good in distress to support a monastery. 
God of Heaven ! woe to the daring one that does not 

believe thee ! 
Son of Mary ! endowed with undefiled genius, 
It is a good work to hope in thee ; 
Before the world thou art mentioned. 

V. The wave hastens forward ; let it beat the shore. 
The fuel of wrath is impulsive. 


Watch-stones form the best history. 

The wisdom of a host, and deception through laughter. 

Let fundamental knowledge be accurate. 

Let the weakling be slow ; let the niggard die. 

The evil alliance of Gall Cynnin. 

With a wanton a secret will not long remain. 

Blood will cause blood to flow, 

The froward will meet with contention. 

Let the weak be set at large. 

The iniquitous will lose his clan. 

lExcept God, there is no one that knows the future. 

Its lord is the chief cause of prosperity to a country. 

VI. The wave hastens forward ; the beach repels. 
Light pain will soon be relieved ; 

The multitude will bustle about the mead-liquor. 

Let him who ejects every one from his frontier cease to 

Let the obstinate be cut off. 
Whoso purchases heaven will not be confounded. 
How curious thou art that any should mention it. 
The trees have put on a beauteous robe. 
A mirror is not visible in the dark. 
A candle will not preserve from cold. 
He is not happy who is not discreet. 
The favour of the Supreme Being will not deceive. 

VII. He who cultivates not wisdom as the chief foundation, 
What win put a bird to flight he will not do. 

Cold is the sway of winter ; bare the sea-shore. 
Better is what is easy than the encountering of difficulties. 
Eeproach wUl not mend what is evil. 
Many a boastful word will cause embarrassment. 
To the bosom, while it goes about ; 


From haste it cannot be known where it will go. 
The Trinity will retaliate arrogance. 
Great God ! how good a Being thou art ! 

VIII. Fleet is the steed ; clear is every strand ; 

The desire of the high-minded one is chivalry. 

No one reaps from his contrivance. 

Every one is not born wise. 

The mind is not bold in a ship on the strand. 

There will be no peace between dry sticks and the flame. 

Let a man live without evil conduct, 

Courteous to song, I confer benefits on those in a state 

of excommunication. 
No naked one will be very energetic. 
There is no law unless there be supremacy. 
A king will challenge spoil. 
The furious, his death is certain. 
Is it not customary that cowardice should harbour from 

Let the brave escape from his conflict. 
Intoxicated the dumb ; every barbarian is a bravado. 
A city will extinguish a wilderness. 
The talkative loves easy work. 
Every one is praised according to his work. 
God loves not the hopeless. 
Fortune is the best assistance. 

IX. In spring the land is partly bare, 

If people are turbulent, their shout is deceitful. 

In calm reflection riches are despised. 

What is not often seen is neglected. 

He that is faithless, his presumption will be contemned. 

It is a complete share that is longed for. 

Let the woman that is never asked appear demure. 


Disgrace is apt to follow long celibacy. 

He that will not completely conceal liimself, will be 

completely taken away. 
From a long restraint comes complaint. 
What seemeth good to God is certain. 
He that is brave, his praise will be heard abroad. 
From a little comes enrichment. 
Blessed is he to whom are given 
The favour of God and long life. 


Piinied by R! Clark, Edinburgh. 



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